Exact-Match Dashed Domain St-Patricks-Day.com Steals #2 Spot In Google

I always like to see which sites rank well for popular holidays, and one of my favorite holidays is coming-up tomorrow (but celebrated by many today) – Saint Patrick’s Day. So I did a Google search to see who was in the top three on Google for the term, here’s what I got:

Saint Patricks Day GoogleAs you can see good old Wikipedia is in the #1 spot followed by St-Patricks-Day.com. Yes, a dashed exact-match domain is outranking the History.com official page about Saint Patrick’s Day.

Just goes to show as I’ve said many times, exact-match domains aren’t dead, sure sites that have really crappy content and low-quality backlinks are but they don’t seem to set the bar too high. Take a gander at the site and you’ll see it’s not full of top-notch content, in fact it’s a bit sloppy with ads strewn about the page.



So what gives? Huge ads poorly placed in between some very low-quality content like this like that has an underscore for some reason in the sentence, “Imagine more than 100_something million people across the planet doing exact same thing…” That’s some sloppy content-writing, but it’s still ranking.

How is it ranking so well? Looking at the backlink profile I can see it has some pretty solid backlinks from people like Financial Times and DMOZ so in the end the backlinks are saving it. Still, didn’t Google say it was crushing all these exact-match domains full of ads and junky content?

It just goes to show, exact-match domains might not be as dead as everyone would like you to believe.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • HowieCrosby March 16, 2014, 12:58 pm

    That’s really interesting! You mentioned the EMD, but please educate me Morgan, I thought dashes in domain names (especially more than one) were penalised by google in it’s ranking? Thanks šŸ˜‰

  • Michael March 16, 2014, 1:20 pm

    It has to be the good backlinks! I have tried to get some of my sites into the DMOZ but have never been able to. I’m not even sure if anyone even uses it seems to be full of a bunch of old websites.

  • Mary Shaver March 16, 2014, 2:52 pm

    DMOZ was and is impossible to not only get listed but you never get any reply to any emails.

    It exists solely for the editors and their friends websites.

  • Morgan March 16, 2014, 7:34 pm

    @Howie – glad you liked it! Actually Google has officially said they have no issues with dashes, as far as EMD’s are concerned you have the same ranking potential with and without dashes.

    @Michael – absolutely, it is the backlinks that are doing it.

  • HowieCrosby March 16, 2014, 9:10 pm

    @Morgan Wow, thanks for the update! Thats news to me, thanks very much.

  • albert March 16, 2014, 11:07 pm

    To me, you should not depend on search engines.
    They should be secondary and considered a bonus.
    Panda and all other cute fuzzy animals that they use to knock down rankings.
    Having said that, a descriptive domain name that is easy to remember (radio test if you will) is the best way.

    Of course, a lot of these companies are obviously proving me wrong.
    As I continue to watch shows like Shark Tank and Dragons Den, there are many people gain users.
    Having said that, they do not make any money apparently because the cost of customer aqcuistion is high.

    But a defining name such as blinds.com, diapers.com, is the best.

  • Alan Dodd March 17, 2014, 9:48 am

    I’m not too surpised at this. We just don’t know exactly how the G algo works. We have clues – but not the formula.

    As for the person from Bing saying EMD domains do not count in their engine, well that is funny.

    I know of one good phrase where domainers with EMD domains and simple enough websites (that’s all that is required with the low bounce rate) dominate.

    On another note – Happy St. Patricks Day to everyone, may the road rise with you on your domaining and start up adventures!


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