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Should You Buy EMDs to Boost Your Rankings?

Some businesses imprint their product offerings in their URL. They believe that it would bring them more traffic and customers. They also hold that such a practice helps customers recall the URL from memory. But then there are also critics arguing that domain names with search terms have no bearing on SEO. Which one is true? Let’s find out!


What Are Exact Match Domains?

Exact Match Domains (EMDs) are domain names having the exact search terms that a brand is trying to rank for. These keywords best represent the brand and its products. For instance, a brand that sells pizzas would target the domain Customers who want to buy pizzas would type in the search bar. The query would fetch the site having the exact search term as its domain name. 

Partial match domains are domain names that include the target keywords with other search terms. For instance, another brand selling pizzas could have the domain name In this case, there are other search terms besides the main search term

Many businesses partner with the SEO companies in Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra, and other cities to optimize their sites to utilize such strategies.


Types of EMDs

EMDs can be quite expensive, so you should consult with marketing agencies in Adelaide and other major cities before a purchase. Depending on the EMD, some types of EMDs could cost less than others. Here are some types:


  • TLD extension: These domain names differ from one another by their extensions such as “. com/.net/.org/.biz/.in/.”
  • The number of keywords: Some domain names could have two keywords. (Eg.
  • Dashed or non-dashed: These domains use hyphens to separate keywords. (Eg.
  • Domains with stop words: These domain names include stop words with the target search term. (Eg. The stop word used in the example is the preposition in. Other stop words used in domain names include aantheof, and for.


History of Exact Match Domains:

In the past decade, businesses and individuals tried to buy domain names with words that accurately describe their brand. Google ranked sites higher which had the exact search terms in their URL. As a result, domains having the exact search terms became expensive. Spammers took advantage of the situation and bought exact match domains on a large scale. The sites that used black hat techniques also found a place in the rankings. 

All this changed with the introduction of the Penguin Algorithm in 2012. With the Exact Match Domain update, Google targeted sites having a combination of exact match domains and shady tactics. 

The update kickstarted the debate about exact match domains. Are exact match domains still relevant for SEO today? The SEO community stands divided on this question.


Arguments Against Exact Match Domains:

Critics have several arguments against buying exact match domains. The first argument is that it is too expensive. If your business falls into a generic category, you cannot afford to buy such a domain. Also, investing a lot of money in such domains will not automatically guarantee rankings. Without partnering with prominent marketing agencies in Adelaide and other cities, the sites will not rank higher

Secondly, the problem of keyword stuffing and over-optimization occurs. Further, it gets difficult to create landing pages without using the exact search terms. All these factors increase the likelihood of incurring a Google penalty.

Other arguments against exact search domains include

  • Creates brand confusion
  • Closes opportunities for brand expansion
  • Harder to authenticate social media profiles.


Should You Ditch Exact Match Domains?

Although several arguments are against these domains, some brands can benefit from them. 

Brands in a specific niche would benefit the most from these domains. Since they offer niche-specific products, they can buy domains with exact search terms to rank higher. These domains also help in matching user intent with target keywords. Hence, brands offering hyper-specific products can profit from buying these domains.

Also read: How Long Does It Take for PPC Campaigns to Take Off?

These domains also help businesses that want immediate traffic and results. For short-term goals, exact match domains work best. They can give a boost to the brand resulting in more sales.

Industries that rely primarily on search engines for marketing also need to invest in these domains

Local brands will also benefit a lot from exact search terms. They can buy domains that include the name of their location to rank higher on the SERP.

The debate about exact match domains has no specific answers. You should consider the industry and the brand size to make a decision. For local brands and niche-specific brands, certainly, exact search terms are valuable in terms of SEO. However, it is advisable to partner with a top SEO company in Adelaide and other cities to make an informed decision regarding EMDs. 




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