Exact Match Domains Clipped by Google

Unless you've been living under the proverbial rock the past few weeks, you are likely well aware that Google's most recent algorithm update caught quite a few Web workers (and domainers) off guard.

What was interesting about this update in particular is that it targeted exact match domains specifically (some would argue that partial match domains were affected as well). Google's Matt Cutts announced the "minor weather report" on Twitter just before the update actually took place the final weekend of September 2012. The update, which affected approximately 0.6% of all queries to a noticeable degree, took several days to roll out but we can safely assume that the effects will be long lasting.

According to Cutts, the change targeted "low-quality" exact match domains (EMD) - those domains that carry the keyword or phrase that users queried. As you might imagine, the algo update has left many (as usual) scratching their digital heads to find an answer to what "low-quality" actually means (again) as several sites, many with a long history and decent link portfolios, seemed to have been swept up in the rollout.

With some confidence, and I say this only after giving Google a week or two to fine tune its changes, that the use of Exact Match Domains carries far less weight than it used to. What do you think? Time to switch domains to a more "brandable" option? What will this do to the upcoming release of additional gTLD's? Share your thoughts by commenting below.