Google Panda Update 20 is a major search engine algorithm update, taking into an account the high impact it has on search queries; 2,4% of English search queries are impacted and it’s still rolling out.
Another update followed on Friday afternoon; Google announced the EMD or exact match domain update.
Matt Cutts of Google posted on his Twitter page: “Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact match” domains in search results.”
Does it mean that Google is looking at why exact domain matches rank well when they shouldn’t, in some cases? Exactly, Google announced the EMD update to reduce the chances of low-quality websites with exact match domain from ranking well in the search engine. However, many webmasters with non-exact domain match websites noticed a drop in rankings over the weekend as well.
So how does this new search engine algorithm work?
It’s not a refresh, it’s an update. Firstly, note that’s not just a minor search engine algorithm refresh but an update, affecting search query to a degree that a regular user might notice.
A keyword-targeted domain won’t help a low-quality website rank well. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that websites with the keyword they hope to rank for in their domain names are now doomed. The update aims to target low quality sites that might be riding only on the basis of exact domain matching.
It’s good to have a keyword-targeted domain and a high-quality website. Having a keyword-targeted domain is one of the well-known SEO tactics that really helps websites to have good rankings in the search engines. However, there are certain criteria for high ranking that your website should also satisfy; see in Top SEO tip for 2012: Part 1 and Top SEO tips for 2012: Part 2.
All in all, if you want your website to rank well, be sure it matches all the required criteria for high ranking, as having only a keyword-targeted domain is not enough.
A number of websites were affected by either Google Panda Update 20 or the Exact Match Domain (EMD) update and it is hard to figure out which update you were hurt by.
I’d recommend you to have a healthy and quality website and be sure that search engine algorithm updates won’t hurt it!