EMD Devastation and an Update
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Update: Although PBNs still work, they now have a history of being targeted by Google and therefore may not be the safest option. This is why we now focus on creating online businesses that are independent of SEO traffic.

Well it’s finally come.  I’ve been waiting for this for almost 3 years now, EMDs have finally been decimated.   I spent the weekend meditating and came back to this delightful news this morning – I have been analyzing my collective Adsense reports since.  It does seem that I’ve had nearly a 65% drop in Adsense revenue, across all sites.  As I dig deeper I will likely see it is more like a 80% drop from EMDs for their exact match terms, with little to no change in my other domains.


We all know it was a long time coming, and this really shouldn’t be any surprise.   I’m just glad my interns have been setting up Adsense and TLA sites based on expired domains for the past couple months, or I’d really have to explain myself :)


There seems to be little method to the madness, based on my results and based on all the internet chatter.   I think it’s safe to say that one shouldn’t base any new sites off of EMDs, and if you have EMDs you may want to re-target them to some partial match term.  Also I am in the process of changing my keyword competition tool a bit, to neutralize some of the domain benefits, and to count the number of pages indexed for each site (more on that soon).   For the sites that got hit, the first thing I’ll do is change their title tags and probably write another article and sticky it to the homepage about a keyword related to the exact match term.


Sorry for being so quiet this last month.  I actually have made over 10 posts, but I ended up making them private for interns only.   I may open them up, but basically aside from setting up the PBN my main project has been working with an “article research” tool that I developed, to churn out content a lot quicker (both Google and TLA require more content now).  I’ll post about it soon.   I also have a few authority sites I am working on with the first group of interns that I will be putting through the PBN.


I also released my domain tool, the Domain Digger today.  Actually I had planned on releasing it Friday, but wanted to be around to answer any questions so didn’t launch it until now.  Probably bad timing lol.  But going forward I still see high PR expired domains as the greatest value asset –  you can develop Adsense or affiliate sites, sell text links, or just sell them outright as they have intrinsic value.







EMD Devastation and an Update
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  1. “For the sites that got hit, the first thing I’ll do is change their title tags and probably write another article and sticky it to the homepage about a keyword related to the exact match term.”
    Can you please explain more regarding this?
    Thank you

  2. While EMD’s certainly took a bit of a hit, I think your current 65% and projected 80% drop are not the norm. Most of the chatter I’ve been seeing has identified specific factors that caused sites to take a hit and it comes down to what MC said when it was announced, low quality EMD’s got hit.

  3. Thanks Hayden, I have a lot of respect for your opinion.

    With that in mind do you see merit in requesting url removal for all emd sites though webmaster tools and then creating much larger broad sites using an expired domain as a way of salvaging content? I lost about 45 sites in total and stuck to 2-3 broad niches for the most part, so have content that could be developed into 2-3 larger authority sites. My guess is there would still be quite a bit of long tail traffic available?

    Thanks again for the update.

  4. It really sucks. An EMD hit? How can they possibly hit on a metric impossible to target? Many long time running sites with proper natural growth have all been hit, it’s all over the forums. Is this an EMD hit? Doubt it, in fact header titling on EMD is no where near the results all the other sites are experiencing, this is just another stupid slap from them gathered on traced hosting or some sort. But of course, the world community will always continue to search for the alternative. Glad your back Hayden.

    • They have just worked out how to remove the EMD bonus without taking down big brands with it. If many sites were ranking largely because the KW is in the domain name then it stands to reason if they remove this advantage many of the EMD sites would plummit.

  5. Looking at the brighter side, I think the real looser here are the registrar like namecheap, godaddy etc. Imaging saving all that money we normal speed to buy EMD?
    Hence Google rank pages not site, from now on we can just simply build authority site covering various topic on those expired domain we are discovering right now…. thanks to Hayden and spencer for the tipoff of the century.

  6. So really youve stopped sharing important info and just give it to interns now. Thats great..

    When you started this blog it was good read now were just not getting value.

    A few fellow travvelrs and i did a hangout the other day and we dont understand why @mattcutts has yet to ask

    Ok, Matt, why the hell is nohatseo techniques still working they are BLACK.

    What legitimate reason is there for you to allow pr and links etc to flow between registrars WHEN the domain drops or the content changes dramatically.

    PR and links are a vote for content., if thats gone surely the domain should no longer get credit”

    Im fairly confident this black magic is in the cross hairs now

  7. Hi, i have recently came to know that google is now devaluing links of expired domains as soon as they get expired.

    I have also performed site and link query on many expired domains but none of them yield any results in google.

    So does this mean that there is no benefit of purchasing expired domains or the expired domains can recover links and PR after sometime when they get renewed.


    • I do not at all have this experience, nor do many readers that have posted about their own networks based on expired domains.

      I have been buying based on drop lists recently and all the sites get indexed immediately, and most rank immediately.

  8. Hayden, were you also hit by the recent penguin update (in addition to what you’ve already written about the EMD update). I believe they’re two separate updates targeting different things.

  9. I have also been buying expired domains and PR returns immediately. They have also been indexed and reindexed quickly after adding articles. Just remember to build quality content…value added is critical.

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