The Full Guide to Exact Match Domains in 2021

Exact match domains are some specific domains with an exact keyword that you are trying to rank for in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Aurora Visibility’s full and comprehensive guide here to gain a quick advantage.

Exact match domains (EMDs) are specific domain names that involve an exact keywords that you are attempting to rank for in Google’s SERPs.

Examples of exact match domains include:

In some industries, people will call their company’s name after the merchandise that they provide, for example, Window Cleaners Dublin.

But within the competitive world of SEO, EMDs are commonly bought by webmasters to achieve a fast advantage when it involves ranking on search engines.

Other studies have shown that having an EMD can help clicks with PPC, providing it targets a specific search enquiry.

Exact Match Domain – The History

If we look back at the beginning of SEO ranking over the past 20 years, having an exact match domain was originally the best way to rank top of Google. Simple.

Even dating back 10 years ago, many SEO practitioners benefitted from just buying an exact match domain, adding a small amount of content, and getting links from directories and this was enough to secure a page one position.

A new market emerged from domain-name selling. Many entrepreneurs were wanting to get their hands on a valuable name, whilst thrifty business people held onto domain names hoping to ‘flip’ them at a better price.

This market continues today, with companies like GoDaddy and 123 Reg offering a marketplace for getting and selling domains, amongst other products.

But webmasters holding onto domains for his or her potential value has seen the foremost promising businesses never seen to be made, with websites like,, offering affiliate sites but not transpiring into major brands.

With long-winded exact match domains commencing to rank like and – Google responded with an EMD update in 2012 to penalize and filter these out.

Is using exact match domains a bad strategy in 2021?

Using exact match domains is not necessarily a bad strategy in 2021? there’s place for EMDs in 2021 and also the right level of SEO can make it successful.

You do not get penalized only for having an EMD and in some cases, you’ll get the desirable lift for your website.

However, for the larger part, using exact match domains goes to be like walking on thin ice and will cause you to very at risk of Google penalties.

For instance, creating new landing pages becomes a difficulty and you have high risk of keyword stuffing or over-optimization.

Your homepage should be the welcome page for your website and you must have nicely optimized landing pages coming off it and this where lots of your SEO traffic will visit. the problem is that if your homepage is, using the proper words for landing pages becomes tricky. Would you realistically create a page and would Google rank this?

When your homepage is probably going to own more links pointing to that initially, there’ll be difficulty in ranking for other landing pages for that exact match keyword.

However, it’s link-building that actually becomes tricky.

Whatever anchor text you employ, you risk the prospect of using an excessive amount of exact match anchor text – and this is often an easy thanks to get a penalty. There are ways around this, like employing a wide selection of anchor text, but finding the balance is hard and it only takes one link of yours to be shared numerous times to create it appear as if you are running a precise match anchor text campaign.

The role of partial match domain names.

Partial match domain names are a mix of the most keyword you are trying to focus on and something that is not related. variety of successful brands have used other words with the most keyword like “network”, “hub”, “etc”, “firm”, and so on.

Some samples of partial match domain names:
These brands only use half the target keyword, service or object, like “sunglasses” or “fashion”.

This approach means natural landing pages is created without the danger of keyword stuffing and there’s no risk of anchor text causing penalties when the name is linked.

Another partial match option is that you just take a special word, which is more of an adjective or point.

A good example may be a price comparison site, Forces Compare, which benefits from having ‘compare’ in its domain, and thus gets a lift for each product it compares across cards, accounts, insurances, and more.

If there is business provider for Funding Invoice, he will benefits from having the word “invoice” in its domain.

Some smart uses of partial matches could involve using words like “free”, “cheap”, “unique”, and “best” or locations like “Lisbon” and “Florida”.

Using the correct words by association

If you wish to come up with brand value, but do not want to risk the possibility of a Google penalty, you will use a website that already has an association. you are doing not gain any immediate benefits from Google, but it will certainly look good from a user’s perspective and gaining an honest click-through rate (CTR) will notably benefit your rankings.

This includes the most famous doorbell company,, the dog’s food provider, and therefore the dating site,

Are some industries better than others when it comes to exact match domains?

Absolutely. We’ve to simply accept that Google treats some sectors very differently and when it involves extremely competitive industries like insurance, fashion, and finance, they do not want to grant anyone a fast advantage ranking simply because they own an EMD.

The best approach is to appear at each industry and therefore the SERPs which you are just targeting. For some industries like insurance and loans, there are only a few (if any) within the UK search results, where “insurance” and “loans” are mentioned within the domain and that they are positioned on page one.

However, if you observe the key term “casino bonuses”, around seven to eight sites on page one has the word “casino” in their name – highlighting the importance of researching each industry.

For industries where there is less competition and fewer penalties handed out (and this is often particularly in local listings), there is only visiting be a couple of individuals looking for “best plumbers in Orange County” or “pizza places in Madrid”– you’re more likely to achieve success using an actual match domain.

Is it too late to vary my exact match domain?

No, if you have got started with an EMD and have struggled to urge it to rank or are subject to penalties, you’ll have a look at changing the domain and you may still hold lots of the nice SEO you’ve got built up.

Doing a 301 redirect to the new domain will hold 90% to 95% of the SEO value and even have an awfully quick turnaround, providing that you simply have good content and UX to back it up.

A recent rebrand of the corporate Bridging Loan Hub to Octagon Capital showed that the rankings were restored within period of time and continued to grow back to their original positions, and higher.

The Full Guide to Exact Match Domains in 2021.docx
Example of tangible match domain sites – Octagon Capital

Conclusion: Do your research and specialize in the brand.

Exact match domains (EMDs) are still successful SEO method in 2021 and this includes some target industries and local businesses.

One has got to watch out if they need an oversized SEO strategy counting on optimizing a precise match domain since this might see initial growth but even be high-risk within the penalty department.

The best method is just to research for some industry and see who is ranking on pages one and two of Google search engine. What kind EDM they are doing? exact match or partial match? Or none of them?

Either way, Google does not want SEO to be easy and that they want it to be earned through other factors like good design, UX, content, and link-building.

Every time, the foremost effective and risk-free approach are going to be to make a keyword-free name and build a web brand using good, clean SEO. This could be complemented with other traffic sources like direct, email, referral, and social media to work out the utmost effect.