When It Comes To Cyber Monday 2012 – Exact Match Domains Win Again

I did a post yesterday about how exact-match domains were dominating search results for Black Friday 2012, however this year more than 50% of the November sales burst is expected to come from Cyber Monday. Let’s face it, gone are the days of consumers being afraid to buy online, in fact, more consumers are buying online than ever before and this Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest in history.

So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how exact-match domains are doing for the wildly popular search term, Cyber Monday and I found once again exact-match domains are doing very well. In the #1 spot is CyberMonday.com, followed by Wikipedia, and then in CyberMonday2012.com in the #3 spot.

Cyber Monday 2012

Scroll a bit further down, but still on Google page one and you’ll find BestCyberMonday.com, another exact-match domain. If you look at the link profile you’ll find that BestCyberMonday.com doesn’t have tons of link juice either, they only have 15 root domains linking in with the highest authority link coming from a popular link directory. It is very clear that the exact-match domain is helping this site because as Google themselves said, they aren’t punishing exact-match domains, they are punishing “low-quality” exact-match domains.

This CyberMonday will most likely be the highest single online shopping day the US has ever seen, and some smart exact-match domain owners are making it happen. Yes, low-quality exact-match domains with poorly written articles and AdSense ads all over the place are being pruned from Google’s search index, but exact-match domains are very much alive and well.

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Mike November 9, 2012, 9:45 am

    I think there’s been a lot of confusion and panic over the “EMD penalty”. Good sites will always rank whether they’re on a brandable domain or an exact match domain. Poor quality sites shouldn’t rank very well, but there was a boost given for EMDs even if they were low quality. Google has simply removed that advantage, they’re not penalizing every EMD.

  • john andrews November 9, 2012, 9:49 am

    Nice to see review of what really ranks. However, I suspect there’s a lot more to it than the domain. The “exact match bonus” does exist, but there are many other factors that currently (due to recent changes at Google) have a larger impact than previously noted. They may be supporting those exact match domains even while exact match bonus is diminished.

    Content, content-support from specific audience, and several other nuanced factors play a larger role than ever before right now. AND the exact match bonus is more difficult to earn with new domains these days. AND we know that google parses multiword domains when considering exact match factors, and that multi-word partial exact match is a factor in link support (anchor text), nearest-neighbor support (the context of an embedded link), and several other kinds of support used by Google for rankings.

    Also note that many of Google’s recent “innovations” have age-related implementation factors… some (but not all) have grandfathering for trust (support), for some (but not all) facets of the value signals Google uses for rankings. Pretty hard to compare domains that are not the same age and history.

    You also have to consider the user acceptance of the domain name relative to the INTENT of the query. A “cyber monday deals” query will be analyzed for intent. “deals” means “sale, coupon, discount, limited time offer, etc” and “Cyber Monday” is treated as a “brand”, so in this case it’s a commercial/transactional brand query, and Google will deliver a different set of results than it will for something like “Cyber Monday”. I am guessing when I say that one is more of a blend of informational (“what is/when is Cyber Monday”), brand (“Cyber Monday”), navigational (“CyberMonday.com, CyberMOnday2012.com”, etc) and universal search ( a splattering of popular and authoritative Cyber Monday resources, to see which ones users like).

    Google’s pretty complex these days, and everything I noted above (except partial exact match) is BEFORE Google factors in the overall user behavior history they have access to via their analytics and other tracking products.

    Pretty tough to draw conclusions from easy analysis these days.

  • Morgan November 9, 2012, 3:29 pm

    @Mike – completely agreed.

    @John – there are absolutely many more things that go into ranking than exact-match domains, this is just one small piece of the puzzle. However, many people freaked-out when Matt Cutts introduced the algorithm changes impacting exact-match domains and I think it’s important for people to know that these still have plenty of value…it all depends on what you do with them.


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