Well, I don’t know yet, but I’m hoping the answer is yes – provided you build a website that is worth using if you are a consumer. I mean, a domain just to catch a keyword may not rank the way they used to but a real website – one that has the information consumers will be looking for on the subject matter – well, I’m hoping an exact match domain will still work.
So, here is the test…I’ve just launched a website that will deal almost exclusively with the area I live, Alpharetta and I did it on a .net domain, but it’s a really good URL. It’s designed to showcase homes for sale in Alpharetta so I purchased www.homesforsaleinalpharetta.net. Now, I don’t expect it to rank immediately, but I do think if I continually add good, relevant content, I can get it to rank.
The biggest frustration we as agents face today is that Google has decided that websites not even owned, operated or managed by real estate professionals like trulia and willow are actually better than local real estate websites. It’s a terrible and incorrect assumption because those of us in the industry know that these websites do not actually provide access to the best agents and certainly do not have the most accurate information. So, while it still amazes me that Google hasn’t figured this out, I don’t see it changing anytime soon.
Exact Match Domains
Enter the EMD. I am hoping that a good quality website users can access easily and get to a local agent will provide something of a solution for those of us finding it frustrating to continue to watch Google choose the wrong websites in the real estate category. There SHOULD be good reason for EMDs to still have some ability to rank. I am fine with them being filtered to exclude spammers and junk sites, but once a website reaches a certain age with quality content, good social signals and links that are relevant, it should rank well. After all, the keywords in the domain will have lots to do with the content and there should be something to this for a well designed site.
Time will tell. I believe this will be the first link that goes to the website and I know the work will be long as it is for all good websites, but it should be worth it. I’m not going to cheat or do anything that would be considered black or grey SEO techniques. I want this test to be something that can be replicated with only the right intentions; to provide consumers with content they find useful and to help our business improve through the help we will provide to consumers.
I’ve read about EMD’s having filters applied to them and Matt Cutts speaks to it directly in a few tweets:
New exact-match domain (EMD) algo affects 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree. Unrelated to Panda/Penguin.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) September 28, 2012
Like I said, I think they should have filters. Let’s just hope that those filters can recognize good content for consumers. I know I have a good bit more work to do on my new website to make it worth ranking high in the search engines, but I will get the content their. I just hope Google sees it for what it will be worth!