Are exact match domains still a good idea?

Posted on September 9, 2021


Exact match domains (EMDs) used to be valuable for search engine optimisation (SEO) but are they still beneficial in 2021?

What are exact match domains?

EMDs are domains that match the search query or keyword an internet user has entered to find a business like yours on search engines. For example, if your search query was “Digital Marketing Chester”, the exact match domain would be “”

Google algorithm updates

Google announced that in 2012 an algorithm change would stop users getting EMDs that were of low quality in search results. A spammy and poor quality EMD might look something like “”. A better example of a domain that is an exact match to its primary keyword would be, which has been dominating the top of search results for “hotels” for many years.

Are exact match domains good practice in 2021 and beyond?

As the example shows, many of the best non-spammy EMDs are already claimed online, so you need to be prepared to spend some money on getting a worthwhile EMD.

There may be some benefit in having an exact match domain as users will know just what to expect from a website, but if your website is an exact match of the keyword you want to target but is optimised poorly or not at all, it will only be a matter of time until Google gets on to this, stopping you getting the results you were looking for.

The key takeaway for using exact match domains in 2021 and beyond is to make sure you are following search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices to avoid being penalised in your rankings.

At Engage Web, we offer SEO management for businesses looking to increase traffic to their website. To find out more about our services, get in touch with our friendly team.


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