If you’ve been reading about Google Sniper, Bring The Fresh or anything to do with EMDs (Exact Match Domains) or ‘sniper’ sites then you will have heard something like this; ‘Sniper sites are dead’ or ‘are EMDs over now?’
Are Sniper Sites Dead?
Well, the simple answer in my personal opinion is no, they most certainly are not dead – they still work and they work well.
This site and many others like it – those ranking for keyword phrases that are similar to the words in the domain name – are living proof that exact match domains and sniper sites can and do still work.
However, with so many changes to the way that Google ranks websites, you do need to be careful not to over-optimise your site – or it could be penalised and may then be blocked from the top 100 pages!
What are EMDs?
Just to clarify, an EMD is an ‘Exact Match Domain’ – a domain name that matches the key phrase or keyword you are targeting in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
For example, if you want to target the term ‘google sniper review’ and set up a site with the URL www.googlesniperreview.com that would be an EMD.
You don’t need it to be 100% exact though – you could almost as easily rank, all other factors being equal, www.googlesniperreviews.com or www.googlesniperreview101.com as well.
What has been happening with Google lately?
They have been changing their algorithm to reduce spam sites and irrelevant results in their SERPs.
One of the things they have been targeting is ‘over optimised sites’ – that is ones that seem to be too well optimised to a particular, often valuable, keyword or key phrase.
You will probably have seen recently the number of spammy affiliate sites that occupy much of the first page of results for a lot of key words – and then they all disappeared.
Well this has happened a few times since about 2010. Google are believed to have been applying a penalty to sites that have been optimised too much – for example, sites with a key phrase in the domain, the URL, all over the page and as the anchor text for about 80% of the links pointing to the site.
If you are interested in a good example of the sort of sites I’m talking about, here is exactly the sort of thing they were trying to stop.
Does this mean that you cant use EMDs any more?
No – you just need to make sure you don’t over do it. Here is a helpful guide.
- use exactly the same key words for more than 10-20% of the links to the site
- point all the links to one page
- have over 2% target keyword density on the site
- over use the same key words in the headlines
- over use the same key phrases in the
- build thousands of links a day to a brand new site
As long as you o not over optimise the site, it should be fine.
The Google Sniper method has been updated a number of times since the changes Google made – I’ve written a more detailed review of GS here, but in short it is a good method and if you want more detail about how to make profitable sites it certainly is the guide I recommend.