More threads by JoyHawkins

So would this be a great option for all those lawyers who have like 5 different sites and are considering ditching them? Just combine it all into 1 site and add canonical tags? Provided of course they don't have 10,000 bad backlinks pointing to them.
Joy, I don't think this would be a good approach, because technically the content is supposed to be the same on the pages you canonicalize. I have heard that is doesn't matter though.

It raises questions about 301s. How similar does the content need to be for a 301 to pass value? If you 301 a page about raising goats to a page about car insurance, does the 301 pass less value because the relevancy? Does Google potentially devalue the redirect down to zero?

I have more questions than answers, I'm afraid. :)
Joy are you talking about lawyers with 5 micro sites? Or 5 domains registered and one live URL?

It needs to be somewhat similar content for the redirect to pass full potential juice. If you're going to redirect from goats to car insurance. You might as well do a site wide 301.
And if the two domains don't match to some extent in purpose or content type - then almost no point in redirects or links imo
I've always been curious on this also.

Do you think it would work for domains that have been registered for a while but never tied to a site? We have a client that has the top emd in his area and it's been registered in his account for 10 years but it's never been nothing more then that.
I just reported a business yesterday that has set up a website with city + keyword domain and uses that same combo as on-site SEO.

The site was registered in December of last year, and sits #1 organic, #1 local pack. It's a lead-gen site, down to the bit where you call the number, get the legally required warning the call is being recorded (for training purposes - hah! more like for billing purposes) and then forwards to the business. the business answers the phone as the true business name, not the name on the website or the listing.

So does emd work - heck yes. Too well.

And does lead-gen work (slight tangent from the original question) - heck yes. He's set the site up so that he can redirect the number to any client.

And the biz owner in question doesn't care whether she's breaking Google's rules, she's not doing anything illegal. She does care about leads. She can't afford adwords for her niche - in fact most professionals in her industry can't afford adwords - ridiculously expensive.

Stopping now, I think I'm starting to rant...
Thanks Darren! Too lazy to look up supporting documentation for some of my rantings and babblings.
Hi Cody,

Thanks for sharing such great info! Can you give any insights into your research process -- how you uncover these domains? Is there a particular site that allows you to search by keywords AND give you historical info?
Lots of good thoughts here. Cody, I'm glad you mentioned that you considered the age of a domain. This seems so obvious, but since I usually work with clients who have come on with a fairly young branded domain, I never would have considered this when purchasing a new one.

It would be ridiculous for Google to penalize a business on the sole grounds of an EMD. How could they possibly penalize a business who bought their domain several years ago, when it was a well-established best practice? I would bet that the only real key is to keep your nose clean, avoid spamminess and present yourself as a relevant, white-hat business. If that's the course a business takes, then I would think that even if having an EMD or a PMD stops helping, it isn't likely to hurt.
Has anyone else run into the fluff around exact match with the new extensions? the .Cars or .Lawyer? There seems to be a new marketing push now that those domains are available, with a lot of push that clients should get rid of 10 or 15 year domains to get the exact match with one of these new extensions.

It makes my blood boil.

I buy a lot of domains from godaddy auctions through afternic and domainnamessales. I buy a lot from individual sellers as well.

I start my searching for the service + city .com or city + service .com when I pick up a new client.

I find all .coms that are for sell or parked, meaning they are selling display ads on the domain while waiting for buyer and avoid those with active business operating on the domain.

I use to find out who owns the domain and when it was initially registered. The older the better.

I contact them and negotiate. This part is tricky if you don't have enough SEO experience to understand true value of a domain. I don't really know how to share guidelines here. Too many factors to consider. But I will tell you this. The asking price is probably a steal. I know, I'm going against the grain here but I am very bullish on domain values. The whole world is going to wake up around 2020 and realize that time square isn't as valuable as .com real estate.
Hey Cody,

If the domain you want isn't available, have you ever tried regging a .dentist domain like or anything? Do those alt domains rank?
Linda - I was wondering the same thing. I have yet to see any of these types of domains rank for any competitive local terms but I think it's because they are just too new. We'll probably start seeing them in years from now. They've only been around a short period of time and I think Cody is correct that age is a really big factor.

Cody - for my example I was thinking of a lawyer that had 5 different sites currently but was looking to consolidate them. I have tested out quite a few cases where clients bought domains and 301'd them to their current domain because the domain had lots of links. Every time we've tried that in the past, it didn't result in anything and I remember reading that Google doesn't pass link juice if you just buy up an old domain. In your experience have you seen that strategy work? I read about it a while ago on some expert roundup and thought I'd give it a try but never saw anything from it.
Found the item I was referring to. 15 Local SEO Experts Share Their Hacks - Synup Blog - the tip from Julius Kurushko:

Use your competitors’ mistakes to your advantage. If you are looking to rank for a certain keyword, scan top 10 sites that rank on the first page for broken links using Free Broken Link Checker / Online URL Validator - finds dead / bad weblinks. Often times you will find broken links with misspelled domain names in their posts or pages. Register misspelled domain, redirect it to your page, ping that page via (wordpress) and watch your ranking “rise”

I've tried it a few times. Never seen it work.
It would be ridiculous for Google to penalize a business on the sole grounds of an EMD. How could they possibly penalize a business who bought their domain several years ago, when it was a well-established best practice?

I"m fairly sure it is some sort of spam flag though. It can't sink your site by itself, but combined with other factors it could contribute to getting nuked.

You have to weigh this with the advantages of automatic keywords in your anchor text, "accidental" one box rankings, etc..
It would be ridiculous for Google to penalize a business on the sole grounds of an EMD. How could they possibly penalize a business who bought their domain several years ago, when it was a well-established best practice?

Google never said there would be a penalty for EMDs, just that they would not use domain name as a ranking factor. So if all you had going for you was an EMD, you would not rank just due to the power of the kws in domain name.

But obviously in local they still have lots of clout, providing everything else is well optimized.

Hope you keep believing. That way, every city we both compete in; I eat your lunch. Why? Because my clients are ok with paying 3 to 5k for exact match domain plus they have 30k this year to invest in links. All white hat. All native ads, sponsored ads.

Call those links what you want. Bottom line, my competitors clients budget = $ 6000 k per year. My clients budget is $35k because I didn't tell them that they could compete for $500 mo

Ps. Dillon, I'm not trying to beat you up or bust your b@lls. I'm just trying to help all local SEO's, like me, or SMB's, also like me to be honest with themselves about what they are really up against.

The biggest regret that I have about the first 4 years as an agency was setting unrealistic expectations for my clients, i.e. You can compete in dental or legal with a couple hundred a month.

If you are a business or SEO representing a business in a competitive field that prances into my city thinking they can win with a clean citation profile and 20 Google reviews - they are f&@;ed and I will take market share from you year in and year out.

The real message here is not about to emd or not. It is to compete or not. And emd's are the tip of the ice burg dudes.

I'm not trying to be cool, or right. I have mad respect for the people that spend hundreds of hours in this forum like me. I want them to get ahead for all that extra effort. I want them to know what is true and what is bullshit. I see too many people saying what they heard someone else say. Instead of something they learned from practical experience.

Pss. Most things in search and life aren't fair. I just make them work for me instead of complaining or speculating about why it should be different. Hopefully, it changes. When it does, I will probably adapt quicker than most. Not because I'm smart. Because I'm old school and I pick my battles wisely.
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Regarding .dentist domains or .ly which have been popular. I recently spent 3800 for

How does compare to

Well, I would say that there is about a 1/4 to 1/2 million dollars difference In value. The .com having a 500k value over .ly or a .dentist.

I don't believe that any type of domain that is not a .com can compete on click through rates or conversion rates.

Yes. I believe that Google will rank .dentist as well as .coms if the click through rate and conversion rate where the same as .coms. But they aren't. And won't be for a long time. And when they are, the .coms will still be more valuable for all the same reasons, i.e. Click through and conversion.
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Tuff to say without knowing the domains and history. Direct message me with all domains for that client and I can tell you in 30 mins which domain to chose and why. Then redirect the rest to it. However if the redirected domains have 0 links or authority- the exact match status can only get you so far

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