How EMDs and PMDs Help to Boost Your SEO Rankings

EMD and PMD are two abbreviations that are commonly used in the digital marketing space. So what do EMD and PMD stand for? Why should you care? How do these terms relate to SEO? EMD is short for exact match domain name and PMD stands for partial match domain name.

If your business name uses a keyword, you might be using a PMD or EMD unknowingly. You might even choose to use an EMD or PMD as your website’s URL even though it’s not your business name.

So what’s the best approach and how can EMDs and PMDs help boost your SEO rankings?

In this post we look at how an EMD or PMD can help boost your SEO rankings. Let’s dive right in!

EMDs, PMDs and Branded Domains

Exact Match Domain (EMD)

An exact match domain name includes your target keyword. Essentially, it contains a keyword that your people commonly search for on Google.

For example, if your target keyword is “baby diapers online”, an exact match domain would have the entire keyword in the URL – In other words, a URL that’s exactly the same as your keyword is an EMD.

From SEO perspective, an EMD domain is extremely powerful. When the search engines see a domain name with specific words in it, they can instantly gather that the website is relevant to those words.

Partial Match Domain (PMD)

A partial match domain name is a mixture of your primary keyword and some other words. Essentially, it contains your keyword but also some other words that define your business/industry.

For example, continuing from the example of baby diapers, some ideas for PMD include or

Branded Domains

And then there are branded domain names. When you want to boost your brand presence in the long run, a branded domain is a wonderful choice.

Just like our domain –

But branded domain names are the most difficult to rank for. However, if you can build some branded searches and authority, you can see some exciting results.

EMDs, PMDs and SEO in the Past

Let’s step back and look at how exact match domains were used in the past. EMDs became extremely popular back in the day among digital marketers and SEO specialists because of their potency. If you had an exact match domain name, you could be sure you would get a high ranking in Google and other search engines, including the top spot.

A few years ago, EMDs were considered a top SEO ranking factor!

This held true even for competitive keywords. In some cases, the EMD domain would rank far higher than a website with better quality content and design simply because it had a domain that had an exact match.

As you can guess, many people began taking advantage of this situation. They’d find a keyword, typically a product/service, that users would look for on Google. They would then buy the exact match domain for the keyword and wait for the EMD boost to kick in. And voila! Their search engine rankings would shoot right up.

What began as a trickle, in no time, became exploited.

Soon Google began to recognise that many of the EMD websites offered poor user experience, especially those with long-tail keywords. So Google updated its algorithm to ensure poor-quality websites did not rank well on the search engines even though they were exact match domain names.

So How Can an EMD or PMD Help Your Website?

That doesn’t mean that you cannot rank well for exact match domain names!

In fact, exact match domains and partial match domains can still do well in search engine ranking pages (SERPs). When there’s tough competition for a ranking and multiple sites vie for attention, an EMD can give you an edge over your competitors.

In essence, if you have a quality website and you have an EMD, you certainly have an advantage. This means you can get higher rankings in Google!

Let’s look at the ways EMDs and PMDs help with ranking:

  • Keywords in the domain – As explained above, this is an immediate benefit of having an EMD/PMD.
  • Keywords in anchor text – If you have been doing SEO for a while, you already know that the anchor text, the words that are used when linking to a website, is an important SEO factor. When people link to a website, they typically use the URL as the anchor text. If your domain name has your keywords, those backlinks will contain your keywords. When you yet a ton of natural links with your keyword as the anchor text, imagine the rankings boost you get!

EMDs and PMDs are Good, Spamming Isn’t

EMDs and PMDs have a lot of potential when used with purpose.

A site that has an exact match for the sake of it without paying any heed to the quality of their content and user experience, cannot expect to rank high in the search engines! At the end of the day, it all boils down to the quality of your website and content.

Here are some things to consider when using EMDs:

  • Structure of your domain name – Not all EMDs are equal. It might perhaps be difficult to rank for a domain name that’s more than three words long, whether it’s an EMD or otherwise.
  • Deliver a stellar user experience – When it comes to improving your SEO rankings, there are no shortcuts. You must take note that Google expects you to EARN your ranking. This means that you won’t simply get a good ranking just by getting an exact match domain. You must invest in a quality website and add quality content to your website on a regular basis to be seen as relevant and an authority on the topic you want to rank for.
  • Create an effective SEO strategy – There’s no way around it. You need an effective SEO strategy in place if you want to improve your online presence.

What’s the Final Verdict?

If you’ve heard negative stories about EMDs and PMDs, don’t panic. EMDs and PMDs still have a place and it’s possible to rank them. They certainly give you an advantage. However, you will still need a good SEO strategy.

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