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Hard Facts about the Google EMD Update from Sept 28 [Update 2]


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True Story: What Matt Cutts probably forgot to tell you in his minor weather report

Don’t get stuck out in the SEO storm – find out what really happened

Google’s latest update triggered a lot of rage and anger in the SEO community. Did Google really set out to destroy small companies, SEO’s and informative EMD websites? investigates what really happened by looking at cold hard facts rather than conspiracy theories and famously understated information from Google.

We analyzed 69 EMD websites: 34 winners vs. 35 losers and found the really interesting patterns you should know about.

Download our 13 page report for FREE and get the following

  • all 69 sites we analyzed with all the SEO metrics
  • exact comparision of Winners vs. Loser
  • analysis of the current situation on Google EMD update
  • detailed explanation for every key finding for evey metric
  • and of course charts and data tables, so you can double-check our results (with free access to Link Research Tools, too!)

You will get answers to questions like these

  • What’s the difference between a website that just lost -99% or gaining +221% in traffic overnight – still being an Exact Match Domain (EMD)?
  • Is the new EMD update really just a disguised Penguin 2 update?
  • Did Google simply put more weight on domain trust than keywords?
  • Is this the end of EMDs?
  • What do I need to belong to the Winners in this and future updates?

**** Updated Oct 09****
Keyword analysis added.

**** Updated Oct 22****
Brand EMDs removed and deeper domain based analysis added.

Are YOU among the winners or the losers?

Minor Weather Report Domain Popularity Grwoth

You can download the full 13 page report with all the details here for a tweet

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Take it further. Did your EMD drop in rankings, too? Let us know!

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What do you think?

Christoph C. Cemper

Christoph C. Cemper is the CEO and Founder of Link Research Tools and Link Detox. A well-known and distinguished expert in SEO who started link building for clients in 2003, building the Link Research Tools since 2006 and marketing it as SaaS product since 2009.

Christoph C. Cemper

Christoph C. Cemper

Christoph C. Cemper
Google Penguin 3.0 is here any day.

Hire one of our 29 Certified LRT Professionals, Certified LRT Xperts and Certified LRT Agencies to conduct your Penguin 3.0 link audit – TODAY.


  1. Markus Jalmerot October 3, 2012

    Some personal experience from Google’s Latest Algo Update: Targeting Exact Match Domains – Historic Background / HOW + WHAT.. #seo #domains #emd

  2. Suren October 4, 2012


    Your’re correct! and well said point about Google’s activities.

    “What are low quality keyword domains anyways?
    Google keeps talking about quality content, but exactly how can Google determine quality? The truth is that Google has no real way (a part from a spell checker) to check the quality of your content, apart from external signals such as backlinks and social signals. So why does Google continue misinforming us? Probably because this is one of the only factors they can’t judge well so this is the only way they can think of to encourage people to write quality content.”

    • Christoph October 4, 2012

      If you read the conclusion in our report, you’ll see what we found to be the “Quality Signal” that Google uses, and some EMDs even won.

  3. John S. Britsios October 4, 2012

    In addition to a new “EMD” update, Google has now also confirmed a fresh Panda Update has rolled out, which will have caused some “dancing” of its results.

  4. Jools October 4, 2012

    supports the wide spread belief that a DMOZ entry is not the ‘holy grail’ trust signal it used to be.

  5. Vince October 8, 2012

    So, it basically boils down to the fact that you need to intensively make use of social triggers (Twitter, Facebook, etc). I mean apart from really useful content, your site should also have a strong social aspect.

  6. Richard Hearne October 9, 2012

    What analysis of the content hosted on the sample sites did you perform? I couldn’t see anything in your report related to content, so it’s difficult to see how you can draw any strong conclusions at all as to what signals Google uses. At best your charts show some very light correlations, and being honest I’ve no idea why you even looked at sharing signals here – every man and his dog knows they’re far too noisy to be used.

    • Christoph October 9, 2012

      Hi Richard,
      we didn’t analyze the content hosted.

      The point is, simply because Google talks about “low quality EMDs” doesn’t mean they look at content itself either. The point we show is that it’s about the Power*Trust of their backlink profiles already.

      Social signals were analyzed because that’s always coming up, and I don’t agree that every man and his dog knows they’re far too noisy to be used. We showed that they are not relevant here, which is another good finding IMHO. Not looking at those would have just giving the social signal fans fuel for speculation.

      Best, Christoph

    • Christoph October 9, 2012


      we just added another chapter on the link anchor text (breakdown by keyword) to the PDF including credits for your feedback.

      We can confirm that the losers seems to also have overdone it with “Brandkeyword” = Exact Match Keyword on those,
      in addition to the weak links they had.

      Best Christoph

  7. Chris Ainsworth October 9, 2012

    You can also checkout the EMD research data from HP Group carried out over 5000 keywords – The data shows that the average EMD ranking went from #13.4 down to #26.6 and the average PMD ranking went from #39.7 down to #47.7. The post is well worth a read.

    • Christoph October 9, 2012

      Hi Chris, thanks for this. Can you mail me the 5000 domains you used, so we can run then thru our ways of analysis to maybe augment your findings?
      Best, Christoph

      • Chris Ainsworth October 9, 2012

        Sorry Christoph but at present I can’t divulge that data :-( it’s a shame because I’d love to see your findings as well.

        • Christoph October 9, 2012

          if that would help we can sign an NDA and confirm that we’ll present aggregate data, i.e. no details on domains etc, like
          we also didn’t disclose the details of the confidential reports here


  8. Hendrik October 9, 2012

    Hey Christoph,

    just gave your report a read and must say that it is quite interesting.

    One thing astounded me: the part about anchor texts. Cause when you look at the graph it shows that it is the other way around (if I read it right…). The losers had more brand keywords and less money keywords than the winners.

    That is the exact opposite from what happened with the penguin update!

    In the report you tell it the same way but in the conclusion you turn it around.

    Have a second look at this…



    PS: Any way to get notified of follow up comments?

  9. don October 16, 2012

    Just did a tweet, got directed to the software for download, but dont have a report…whats the next step?

    • roberts October 17, 2012

      Hello Don! Please check your mails. You have received a pm regarding our case study. Regards.

  10. George October 17, 2012

    That’s a interesting report; it shows that the social media signals, which can be gamed easily, aren’t an important ranking factor. My own findings show that getting backlinks from highly trusted websites is the way to go from now on. Google has preached about it indirectly for years, but it looks like it’s finally happening.

  11. jen October 22, 2012

    Hi i just took a look at your report. It looks like the loser EMD domains are back up at the top of Google. Am i correct ? If so, are you for hire?

  12. jimbeetle October 25, 2012

    Hey guys,

    I paid with a tweet and wound up at a pdf toolbar site.

    And no, I didn’t receive a pm or an email. What happened to the report?

    • Christoph October 25, 2012

      Looks like you clicked the ad instead of tweeting
      on the paywithatweet page (its the button on left, not green right)

  13. jimbeetle October 26, 2012

    Ah, so it was my mistake, huh. When I said I paid with a tweet, I meant I paid with a tweet:

    Thanks for the good experience.

    • Christoph October 27, 2012

      not sure if it worked now or now, but we have nothing to do with the wiseconvert thing

      I mailed you the download link


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