Our experience with Google EMD/Panda/Penguin updates

I just wanted to address a pretty big change that affected our site recently head on.

So, we woke up at the end of September and saw that our traffic had taken a pretty big hit. It seemed that that the site had been hit by a Google algorithm change that wiped out about 35% of our traffic.

After a period of lengthy analysis, we started reading reports on the web that Google had unleashed yet another algorithm change as part of a series of updates that are aimed at providing users with a better search experience.

This time, Google’s update, dubbed the “EMD update,” was focused on ridding the SERPs of low-quality “exact-match” domains.

What is an EMD or Exact Match Domain?

It’s simply a domain name that uses exactly the top keywords that a site is optimizing for.

An example of an EMD would be a dentist’s office in dallas trying to get to the top of the search results for the keyword “Dentists in Dallas” by buying and using the domain www.DentistsInDallas.com.

In theory, Google went after LOW QUALITY examples of that where the corresponding website provided users with a low quality experience.

Now, every time Google rolls out these updates, there’s collateral damage and this time was no exception.

We believe that we were hit as part of this update and Google confirmed to us that the change to our sites ranking was algorithmic in nature and not a manual penalty.

So, what to do?

The answer for me is simple. Keep doing what you’re doing.

I started this site 3 years ago (way before Microsoft’s Windows 8 product came out) and my focus has been making sure that readers have a place to go for the most comprehensive news and updates regarding Windows 8.

The domain name I chose “Windows8update” accurately described and still describes this site and what we do.

It’s a great name and we are proud of the brand that has been built upon it.

Over the past 3 years:

In addition, we have been quoted by the President of Microsoft’s Windows division, extensively by PC World, The Huffington Post and many others.

We recognize that with Google it’s never personal. Each algorithm change causes massive ripples throughout the web and in a very real sense, shakes out a lot of the content that shouldn’t be there.

In this case, we just respectfully disagree and believe we are simply temporary collateral damage.

We know that we add value to the conversation about this new Operating System and we will continue to do so.

I just wanted to let you all know that we have seen changes come and go over the years but one thing will remain certain.

We will continue to provide you with the most comprehensive Windows 8 news and updates on the web.

Thanks for your time.

Onuora

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