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Every couple of years I read about exact match domains and how Google is clamping down on them or helping them out to some extent. I recently read a blog post published by a popular SEO company on the same subject. They’re essentially asking – and stopped short of outright saying it – that exact match domains are done for. But they went on to say that partial match domains are still good.

It just so happens that Google is always tweaking its search algorithms to reconsider its ranking criteria in fluctuating models of importance.

What that means is that on some days your exact match domain may very well push you higher in the rankings while on other days it may not help at all. Then, on other days it could actually hurt you.

This popular blog pointed to a recent Panda update that seems to be diminishing the effect of exact match domains on search rankings. But does it?

It’s possible that Google has re-ordered its search ranking algorithm to put more favor upon other ranking criteria such as inbound links, anchor text, or something else entirely. Or it could be that there was some initial fall out for some websites with exact match domains when Google did something that affected other search ranking criteria. Who knows?

We can’t really reverse engineer Google’s Panda updates with certainty. What we can do is offer some reasonable explanations about changes in behavior with search results based on careful observation. I still think that exact match domains have some search engine results effect. How much is the question.

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