Google EMD Update; Reasons and Responses

There is a lot of buzz around about google EMD update, unlike previous panda and penguin updates, not only by those who got a severe hit but also by those not hurt at all and the reason is obvious. Hitting sites for having low quality content and for being involved in spam link building schemes seems absolutely logical as we all want to see quality and spam-free online environment but what for those who are having quality content, building quality links, not violating google webmaster guidelines, should they also get such shocking hit. Everyone having any concern with webmaster world is surprised upon this illogical hit by google in the name of EMD (Exact Match Domain) update.

Like others we can also not say anything exact about such mad move but can at least have a look at responses from webmasters having their quality sites dropped suddenly just for providing quality content and just for having no spam link at all….

Just have a look at a post on search engine land starting from Matt Cutts statement about EMD update:

Google Issues “Weather Report” Of Crack Down On Low Quality Exact Match Domains

EMD Update Hit – Reason 1

Number 1 reason stated in update is EMD means exact match domain just taking benefit of domain name but not providing quality and relevant content. But it’s just a cover under which lots of quality sites have been hit with no logical reason at all. See the comments (on the post above) below how webmasters are explaining what happened to their quality sites just for being ‘EMD’.

Adam Grunwerg

Site-wide penalty for EMDs. This is stupid. If it was a devaluation of ranking for the EMD query that would make total sense, but they have penalised all sites with a site-wide penalty just because they have an EMD. This has nothing to do with quality – it’s just about size and age. For example, I’m developing a student money advice site at I chose the domain for Brand Purposes (the exacts for student money doesn’t even receive any searches). The site is now penalised even though I have excellent content, where as if it was launched on a brand domain it would be completely fine. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

Michael Corder

Well, it would appear this update completely eliminated my personal blog (with MY name) from the SERPS. I have done no marketing, nothing underhanded, but search terms it was ranking well for yesterday (including my name) are now no where to be found – even image results. I wonder how many legitimate sites have been sent to pasture with this… It appears I have no recourse other than to give up…

EMD Update Hit – Reason 2

Number 2 reason stated is having low quality links from spam sites or being involved in such link building schemes but here again lots of sites with quality links got punished by google.


One of my EMD site which had several natural facebook shares every day and lots of comments too everyday and excellent content is now even not in top 100.
Is Google better than people who checked the site and shared it on FB?
Their new algo is crap!

Google is arrogant and has no respect for webmasters.

Imagine, tomorrow if you search for keyword GOOGLE in Google and you get Wikipedia entry for Google as first result since was penalized for being an EMD for keyword Google.

Everything is possible now.

This drama does not ends over here as many sites having both of these reasons or other factors which can make them penalized in this update are still showing up in google so it’s again a mess…

H. Comfort

So, Matt Cutts, You will decrease Low Quality EMD, but will NOT decrease Low Quality Non-EMD? Smells fishy. Guess which part of tweet is true and which one is false? What is easier, determine “quality” or determine “EMD”… Just say it like it is. You have decreased the “EMD” signal and be done with it.

Jessica Smith

According to what I see, this update is not exactly after EDM . Not only has been penalized, but also and

Robert Butler

This is very interesting. So basically, sites like are going to take a hit? How are they going to distinguish between low quality and high quality “exact match” domains? The only way to do that effectively is manually reviewing each one of the sites. You have to wonder what the real value is in using a spider if they have to manually massage so much of their information?

Responses to EMD Update

How People Responded to EMD Update?

What we can expect from those following quality guidelines strictly and getting such appalling outcome eventually. Just have a look at following comments:


Google is playing…. just playing by the name of updates…. they have no goal…they are using webmasters and their efforts….

Ben Guest

If you are not using AdWords, you will not be able to pay for your organic rank. Now about SEOing Bing and SEMing Google…

jayesh khandor

Spot on Ben. It’s time now to move to another search engine for Natural Listings. I have noticed couple of things from Google over a period of time: 1.Google is trying to make money as much as they can from Adwords (may be Google sees someone beating them in search traffic in near future) and 2. Google always comes up with something in favor of BIg Brandz…ridiculous

John Brown

it not about site quality, it about ‘legitimate ways’ to get all organic search results filled with youtube and wikipedia. it only money matter for big G now.


All Google wants is to make money via Adword. They will not show so called “irrelevant website” in organic SERP whereas the same irrelevant website will be shown above the organic ranking if they pay some money to Google.

EMD Update; Questions Google Must Answer

After getting severe and shocking hit webmasters have right to ask at least about the reason for this ridiculous act by responsible search engine:

Steve Wyman CloudVenturesGroup

its not over yet. @mattcutts – please simply define “low quality” then we’ll be do that.

Were not dead in the water either the fun continues.

Andrew Perez

This is crap.. Just what exactly does Google want from honest webmasters? What exactly do they consider low quality? My site was and EMD and was very informative with great content!! Now it’s gone! I can’t stand Google and their stupid updates. Their search results are getting crappier every year.. At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before Bing becomes the new authority...


I’m confused.
I can pay for traffic to the keyword, bluewidget, in Google Adwords
if I put bluewidget into a URL that’s a bad practice?
Isn’t there a word for this type of practice?
What if after completing my PHD 20 years ago all I’ve worked on and know about are bluewidgets…. do I have to change my URL to something more “relevent”? a synonym to blue widget perhaps?
Help me understand.
Something smells bad here and its not just my post, spelling, or lack of grammer etc.

What’s after EMD? Hope or Despair

People are having mixed views in this regard, some are still hopeful to get their ranking back after this ‘few day’s madness’ while others just ready to look somewhere else for quality and reliable online business ahead….


Have to wait till the dust settles and the Google team wake up from their birthday hangover and fix the mess once again. And then when that happens we start the cycle again prob in 2-3 days time which is about how stable any thing is the last month and year.
At least you should feel comfortable in the fact you are not alone many others got hit and this means your site is probably fine and you do a good job of maintaining it. The Serps are the ones that are broken not you.
One more thought maybe we need to go on a mission and confiscate all the toys in the Google Workplaces because all they seem to do is play and never work.
I am venting again and trying to keep it civil but I really hate the M…….kers and the daylight robbery they get away with.

Shad David

I just installed Adblock Plus for firefox. Bye bye adsense and chrome. Google doesn’t exist for me anymore.
You guys who think that your sites are great quality and google is all about quality… I’ll see you here crying about Google has destroyed your great sites… only question for you is WHEN.

Comment on Google EMD Update

If you also have questions, hopes, future plans or anything to share in this regard, don’t hesitate and speak out over such mad move so it could revert quality sites back or at least could block such ludicrous updates in future.

  • Agreed. My earnings have plunged more than 100%. Ridiculous. I have unique, almost daily updated content and don’t even have exact match domains, yet I am apparently a low quality EMD site. Good job google, good job.

    • admin

      After such unexpected and illogical update we must think seriously about our online business to tolerate the loss of such abrupt changes. We submitted our site for reconsideration but they rejected again for no reason at all.

  • admin

    No one can say anything about google mood swings. We lost 1 quality authority tech site during this mad update.