When attempting to keep up-to-date with the latest releases of Google's Penguin and Panda algorithm updates, many professionals who engage in search engine optimization (SEO) forget there are other rules at play that need to be followed. For example, Google's head of spam-fighting, Matt Cutts, recently announced the search engine will unveil a new algorithm change that will reduce the appearance of low-quality, exact-match domains in search results.
Cutts referred to the update as a minor weather report, aimed at 0.6 percent of English-U.S. queries. The update is unrelated to Panda and Penguin, but the change adds a new dimension to SEO and online marketing.
Exact match domains may seem like a gray area, and many professionals hope keywords in their domain names will help their sites rank higher online. However, the change targets sites that might be hanging onto the basis of exact matching, and page designs are actually subpar. An example of an exact match domain is one where a coffee shop creates and manages a website with a name like www.coffeeshop.com.
While this minor update may not affect a large population of sites in the United States today, it's an important change to acknowledge, especially if a new page launch is in the near future for an organization.