Whether you got really, really lucky or paid big bucks to a domain
scammer seller, your Exact Match Domain Name was a big score in the legal field. In return, you’ve had 1st page, top of the fold rankings for major keywords without having to struggle nearly as hard as your competitors. Well, your advantage will soon be ending, if it hasn’t already.
2012 has seen some tremendous shifts in Google’s algorithm, a lot of which were aimed at targeting sites with low quality, thin content & spammy backlinks. Just a few short days ago, Google’s own Matt Cutts tweeted “Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results. “
Matt Cutts latter confirmed that 0.6% of search results were affected by this algorithm change and I am quite positive legal results were included. Now having an exact match domain name is not going to be enough to get you choice positioning in the SERPS.
Those of you who spent the last several years kicking yourself for registering your business name as your domain name can rejoice. Your unique branding will allow you to stand apart from all the different variations of your city name with practice area such as Dallas Injury Lawyer and Injury Lawyer Dallas.
This algo change was a long time coming. A domain name is not a good indicator of the quality of a website and should not be such a major factor. If it hasn’t hit your EMD or your SERPS yet, I am sure it won’t be long and Friday’s algo update won’t be the first with regards to EMD. No doubt it will be further refined and more sites and results will be effected.
Now, if you have been focused on building your Brand and maintaining a high quality and link worthy website, just keep on doing what you are doing. This won’t effect you. If not, you’d better get started.