Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

SEO Blog

Google’s Crackdown on Low Quality “Exact Match Domains”


We’ve blogged in the past about comments from Google’s Matt Cutts that Google recognizes websites with an exact match to a popular query get ranked higher than they really deserve and that Google planned to address that. Well, Google’s EMD algorithm update hit a couple of weeks ago.

EMD algorithm change may cause Google rankings to drop for some websites.EMD stands for “Exact Match Domains”. If you search for brown widgets, is likely to show up very highly, even if it’s a crappy website with no link popularity.(At this writing there’s no such website, but you get the idea.)  In recognition of the fact that low quality websites shouldn’t rank highly just because of their domain name, Google’s EMD algorithm update was written.

It’s no longer necessary to pay a domain squatter lots of money for a domain just because a lot of people search for the domain’s phrase. Recently a company asked us about an offer to sell them the domain, citing the large number of searches for NJ IT consulting. We suggested they decline. The domain would start out with no link popularity and would not be likely to be ranked nearly as highly as it once would have simply due to the domain name. They would have to work as hard on the SEO for this domain as they did for their current domain.

How big a deal is this?

This is a new algorithm change, and it will take awhile to gauge just how severe it is, but Google anticipates it will significantly impact about 0.6% of US queries. If you have an exact match domain and see a significant dropoff in Google rankings and traffic, the antidote is effective SEO.

We can help with that.


Rank Magic & Others Interviewed on New Jersey Business Radio

New Jersey Business Radio on Internet Media Broadcasting.Valerie Paik of TAG Online, Alissa Okrent of Confidence Compass, and Bill Treloar of Rank Magic were interviewed this morning on New Jersey Business Radio. You can listen to the full interview here.

A Penguin Recovery Odyssey

Google's Penguin updateVery few of our clients have been smacked with a loss of rankings from the recent Google Penguin algorithm update, but across the web many web sites have suffered. If you’ve been penalized under Penguin, it can be a frustrating job uncovering the reason for your loss of rankings and fixing it.

You may be able to benefit from the experience of Nick LeRoy, an SEO in Minneapolis who has recovered one website from a 75% loss of visitors and revenue. He writes about it in an article he entitled How I Smacked Google Penguin In Its Ugly Little Beak.


If you think you’ve suffered as a result of Penguin, Rank Magic can help.

Don’t Buy Followers

We recently received this email offer:

Buy Twitter Followers and boost your account’s popularity. First impression is everything and after using our service, it’s hard not to be impressed.

Twitter Followers            $.10 per follower
Re Tweets                      $.15 per retweet

Buy Face book (sic) Likes & Fans. Facebook Likes (Fans) strengthens your online and social credibility. Our techniques are absolutely safe and secure.

Face Book Fans/Likes      $.15 per like

Digg is a popular and well-known social website where stories are updated every hour and users vote on the stories they like. If your story gets plenty of votes then it may be featured on the front page of the website.

Google indexes digg (sic) in every hour. Getting some votes on the digg (sic) can be very vital to your online success. You can see a flood of traffic and some good buyers from the site.We can give you Digg Votes from real humans in quick time and at cheaper rates.

Digg Votes                      $.20 per vote

Buy Google plus Ones and boost on your search engine ranking. If your website has 1000+ Google Plus Ones, your visitors are going to react in a much more positive way to your website. They’ll feel more confident in purchasing a product or service, or even the credibility of your website. With an Increase in Social reputation – You’ll earn more Money.

112 Plus +1            $20
1120 Google +1      $175
224 Plus 1              $40
560 Plus +1            $85

More than just spam

Actually, this was only half of their email; the other half was a verbatim repeat of the above. A sure sign of spam. But worse than this being spam, buying followers, tweets, fans and votes is a very bad idea.


To the extent Google, Yahoo and Bing use social signals in their ranking algorithm, they rely on them being natural votes in you favor and in favor of your website. banned by Google for SEO cheating.If they can tell that you’ve manipulated them, you will get a smack-down that’s not easy to recover from. Don’t think that search engines are unaware of these tricks, or that they’re not looking for tell-tale fingerprints that you’ve employed these Black Hat SEO techniques. If you average one new follower or fan per month or one or two +1s or Digg mentions a month and suddenly you get hundreds or thousands  — well that’s a red flag to the search engines, isn’t it? A few years ago, websites for Ricoh and BMW were totally banned from Google for more than six months due to black hat manipulation. If big companies like that can get such a penalty, search engines won’t think twice about hitting you with something just as devastating to your website traffic.

Bottom line: don’t do it.

As SEO Budgets Grow, Google Tells You What To Do

Google’s been making SEO more difficult

As pointed out in an article at WebProNews, Google has been making SEO more difficult for years, and perhaps that’s why a new study from SEMPO has found that SEO spending is still healthy, despite all of the freely available online information that has spread across the web over the past decade or so, such as that in our blog over the past 7+ years.

SEMPO put out a 72-page report looking at a survey of nearly 900 companies and agencies. According to SEMPO,

Overall, the report depicts a stable industry, without dramatic changes. Although the practices of search engine and digital marketing may have changed significantly as new tools, algorithms and platforms have come into play, the survey depicts very much the same goals in place.


Google explains what to do  — and what not to do

Recent rumors are circulating about new updates to the dreaded Google Panda and Penguin updates. If those updates have you worried, Google has some advice, particularly if you’re planning to hire an SEO for your website.

“Before beginning your search for an SEO, it’s a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work,” Google says, suggesting its Webmaster Guidelines and Google Basics as starting points.

SEO trendsGoogle also suggests hiring an SEO early in the site development process, when you’re planning a redesign or planning to launch a new site altogether. In case you’re not familiar with it, Google has a list of questions that it says you should ask an SEO during the hiring process. The article at WebProNews lists those questions and we encourage you to read them and ask them of any SEO you’re considering hiring  — even Rank Magic.