Matt Cutts and Google just announced that they came out with an algorithm change for “exact match” domains. An exact match domain would be a domain that is the exact match of a keyword you are targeting For example if you wanted to rank for “bodybuilding supplements” an exact match would be BodyBuildingSupplements.com.
In past years exact match domains (EMDs) were extremely easy to rank for, but in more recent years they had done a decent job at making EMDs harder to rank for unless they were actual quality sites.
Because of the boost in the search engine results (SERPs), I was one of the many online marketers that were buying up exact match domains and building out relevant sites on them. Although I used to put up crappy sites on these type of domains just to take advantage of the boost, I have more recently tried to develop quality sites on my better domains and thought I had been doing a good job at that. Unfortunately I was one of the many internet marketers that were hit hard by the recent updates to the algorithm.
I have no problems with my sites that lost their rankings that were low quality sites with few pages, but I am pretty mad that some of my high quality sites have been hit. I am also a little confused because a few of my websites that were hit were sites that I post on almost every day and have tons of repeat visitors coming from referrals, google, and typing in the URL.
Since some of my websites that were hit are money makers for me I am looking at how to fix the recent changes and get them back ranking up where I think they should be.
Of course I don’t know the secret to fixing any site that gets hit in the SERPs, but I do have some ideas I’m going to try out to see if it will help. Although it will be tough, I’m going to be patient with getting the sites ranking again as I know sometimes it takes a while to work your way back up.
My ideas on fixing my website rankings:
#1 – Be more active on social networks: The first thing I’m going to do is try and make sure I have a facebook and Google+ page for all of my websites. I’m also going to email out to my email lists and ask people to follow or like each page, which will hopefully show Google that I have a good following. I will also try and be consistent with posting to each a few times a week, sometimes with links back to my pages.
#2 – Slowly build quality links to sites: I’m going to work on very slowly getting more quality links from related sites to my website. I have to be careful and make sure that I’m not building them up to fast and that I’m not using the same anchor text too much. I’ll try to do this as white hat as possible these days with guest posts, asking webmasters to link, etc.
#3 – Post quality content often: As much as I can I want to be sure that I am consistently posting good, quality content on the sites. I’ve found that my websites that I update often with blog posts haven’t been affected by this algo change, and I’m thinking Google may be trying to target lower quality static sites that are just trying to sit on and rank for exact matches (although if they were trying for that I don’t think they did a very good job).
#4 – Link out to other useful, quality websites: Most authority websites link out to other useful and quality websites freely without much thought. I think rarely or never ranking out to other websites looks a little suspicious and might show Google you are trying to “game” the system by keeping all of your link juice. Whenever I feel the need to link out to another website I won’t hesitate. (you can see I already did this in this article by linking out to Matt Cutts Twitter page in case people weren’t familiar with who he is).
Those are some of my ideas for fixing this disaster ranking change put out by Google. If you know anything about Search Engine Optimization you won’t see anything new here, but these are simple things that I don’t always remember to do.
If you’re in the same boat as me with a number of your sites affected by recent Algo changes I hope you can get back and ranking soon. Good Luck!