There was a time when people were buying domains that would correspond to their chosen keyword. This technique is known as the exact-match domain strategy. The reason for doing this is to incorporate keywords into the domain of the website since it was believed that having the keywords in the domain name makes it easier for the website to be indexed and ranked in that particular keyword. It was believed that web crawlers or spiders crawls the URL first before crawling the different parts of the web page and it is believed that if the keyword in found first by the search engine crawlers such web page would be ranked first using such keywords.
This strategy has been found to be very effective until the end of September 2012, when Google through Matt Cutts, has announced that they have incorporated an algorithm update where in it would penalise low quality exact match domains.
Who Will Be Affected?
Websites that are usually in the field of affiliate marketing where the use of exact match domains is rampant would be the first ones to be hit by this algorithm update. Affiliate websites are using the exact match domain strategy because of the fact that previously it makes the site easily indexed and ranked in the search engine results page ranking. According to several reports many affiliate sites have been de-ranked and have lost considerable or significant amount of traffic and consequently return of investments.
Generally, people who utilise exact match domains will be affected especially if their SEO strategy involves other processes that are frowned upon by the Google search engine. According to the announcement made by Matt Cutts those that would be affected are low-quality exact match domains so those that utilise black hat strategies coupled with exact match domains will be those that are going to be greatly affected.
What is clear is that Google is trying to eliminate websites that were designed to manipulate ranking without giving high quality content and links done through proper content development and link building efforts. SEO strategies is not considered by Google as generally bad and should be stricken down one by one, rather Google is only banning SEO strategies that are within the realm of black hat, strategies that would intend to manipulate rankings instead of focusing in giving users the information that they need as well as focusing on giving a good user experience while such users or visitors are on their website.