When Danny Sullivan quotes,

“EMD seems targeted after low-quality sites that are “in between” these two things, perhaps sites that have content that doesn’t appear scraped because it has been “spun” using software to rewrite the material automatically.

Google never targeted Cars.com for “cars”, Usedcars.com for “used cars”, Cheaptickets.com for “cheap tickets”, movies.com for “movies”, Skylightbooks.com for “books” etc.”

It clearly means that EMD update was to complement Panda update so there is room only for sites that do not exploit exact match domain advantage using compromised content quality.

Recall – What was EMD update

EMD was named after targeting “exact match domains” and clearing from top search results. These are domains that exactly match the search terms entered by users.

EMD update came into seem with a myth that sites match the exact search term in domain will no longer be in trend and will be outranked by brands or non EMDS. But the results didn’t confirm the misconception. We could see usedcars.com, movies.com, cars.com and some more hyped names. This broke the myth and favored EMDs with quality and relevance and filtering only those with poor quality content.

Interestingly, I even find www.creditcardapplications.com as #1 result when I googled “credit card applications”. Keeping myself as a user, the website doesn’t score high with it’s clumsy looks and stuffed content all over except the fact that they have started using Google+ and twitter pretty aggressively but that doesn’t give great clues about their position on EMD.

With the first attempt to clear compromised exact match domains on September 27th, 2012, Google clearly confirmed that it’ll be ongoing like Penguin and Panda and keep looking for bad EMDs. With it’s frequent versions, it will release the ones that improved over time and filter those who escaped in last run.

Solutions to EMDs that are hit

  • Focus on the audience. Serve their needs and have a happy reference
  • Deoptimize
  • Get social
  • Reduce bounce rates and keep people engaged with interesting and relevant content (the content can be in any form like text, images, videos, polls)
  • Redesign if needed
  • Use multiple methods of link building to diversify your link profile

EMDs can be your best bet irrespective of the updates if you utilize them wisely and target primarily your audience and then focus on the search engines.

EMD 6 Best Practices to leverage power after latest updates

  1. Skip TLDs like .biz, .info, .mobi
  2. Prefer .com. .net and .org if you’re planning a long lasting and serious business.
  3. Pick a domain for no more than 4 words
  4. Build an ultimate website with unique design concept, exclusive content and unique value proposition. If you made your site visitor say “wow” and share the site over his social network, you won.
  5. Geo local EMDs have higher chances of escape from the latest update bec
    ause of their relevancy.
  6. Stay away from over optimization. Rather, deoptimize to dilute the EMD effect. You can name your business and build links or references with the business names.

There are some great resources you may want to read and get help.
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-exact-match-domain-playbook-a-guide-and-best-practices-for-emds
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/your-guide-to-googles-emd-algorithm-update/49915/
http://www.seobook.com/should-you-buy-exact-match-domain-name (Watch the comments here. they’re interesting add-on)
http://www.webpronews.com/google-emd-update-what-is-its-real-impact-2012-10?ProNews)

It’d be great to see your experience with EMD update. Please share here if you find something interesting. I’d update the post to have you info accomodated.