EMD For affiliate marketing

EMD For Affiliate Marketing: Do They Work? (Exact Match Domains For Affiliate Marketing)

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You may have heard of EMD or Exact Match Domain names before and have wondered if they work or not.

Well, today I am going to be covering everything you need to know about EMD for affiliate marketing.

Including how to find them, so if you want to grab one and start building an affiliate site around it, you can. 

But make sure to read this entire page first, so you know how they work, as well as the best uses if you want to build your money site on it. 

EMD For affiliate marketing

EMD For Affiliate Marketing

An EMD is essentially finding a keyword and registering the exact keyword as a domain.

So, let’s say my keyword is best WordPress themes, I would then register a domain name called bestwordpressthemes.com.

On this site, I could then build a basic comparison site with all the WordPress themes and get commissions when somebody purchases them. 

Pretty simple stuff, but it gets a little more confusing when we want to determine whether it’s worth using an EMD. 

The Thought Process Behind an EMD

If you head over to Google and type in a website’s name, for this example, let’s take Neil Patel.

The first thing that comes up is of course his website. 

So, the thought process of buying an EMD is that you will be the first result on the SERP, as well as sometimes get multiple rankings, as it’s kind of your brand name. 

However, this isn’t always the case and we will talk about why in a second. 

Do EMD Work For Affiliate Sites?

It depends. (My most common answer to anything)

The reason that I say “It depends” is because it depends on the:

  • SERP
  • Niche
  • How you build the site

Google did have an update many years ago, removing low-quality EMD that had thin content from the SERPs.

However, the keyword here is low-quality. 

Things To Be Aware Of When Using an EMD 

Before we talk about the pros and cons, as well as some strategies, let’s take a quick note of the things to be aware of. 

Related: How to blog in a competitive niche (And succeed)

Types Of Pages

Google often ranks types of pages which can be a good indication of where you put your content, as well as if you want to use an EMD. 

For example, if the first couple of dozens of results are all articles, forums, and stuff like that, you will probably have a hard time ranking with a Homepage.

Does this mean, it’s not worth using an EMD?

No, not necessarily and we will talk about why in the advantages section.

An EMD can still have advantages even when you are not trying to rank the home page.  

Low-Quality Content Update

Exact Match Domain Tweet

Pretty sure this update was in 2012, but I might be wrong. 

As mentioned earlier, Google had an update into its algorithm removing low-quality EMD with thin content. 

However, if you post a ton of content on that site and make it a great quality site, with quality content which the user is looking for, then this update will not affect you. 

This is why on a project that me and a friend are working on now, where we are using an EMD, we made sure that we had more content on the entire domain than what’s ranking #1.

Now, if anybody is going to get a penalty for a low-quality site, it’s definitely not going to be us because we have a beefed out site. 

You shouldn’t use your EMD as an excuse to have thin and bad content, what you want to do instead is use it as an unfair advantage. 


Google Sandbox

(Source of image)

Your domain is brand new, it will take some time to get found, and afterward, it will still be in the Google sandbox.

On the project that I am working on, Google found it on like the second day (naturally), but we tried all kinds of stuff to get it out of the sandbox, but it’s not happening. 

We posted so much content in the first week, set up 25 different social profiles, had social signals and all kinds of stuff. However, we just wouldn’t even rank for anything, so we decided to wait. 

To be fair, our site is not even two weeks old right now, so it’s probably best to wait. 

Just be aware of this and don’t expect to rank overnight, or as soon as it’s indexed.

Focus on beating your competitors in all ranking factors instead. 

Why EMD only really work in Low-Competition Niches

EMD only really work in low-competition niches.

The reason for this is if you go into a really competitive niche with an EMD and you’re competing against a bunch of high DA sites that built their sites over years with teams, consistency and a lot of money, you got practically no chance and an EMD won’t do much.

Mainly because of the age of all these sites, it would be hard to make Google think it’s your brand name and people have been looking for your site, instead of these guys who have existed for 10 years and been on the SERP for 10 years with good user metrics.

However, if you go into a niche, with an EMD where 5-10 people are trying to rank for that keyword and you have:

  • The best content
  • The most/best links to domain & specific page
  • The most social signals
  • The most relevance

Basically, the most everything PLUS your EMD, then this will be a good indication for Google, that these people are looking for you. 

And, if you have what the people are looking for with good user metrics then good luck to anyone trying to beat you on that SERP. 

Do EMD’s work?

Competitive niches: No, unless you do years of building. 

Low-Competition Niches: Yes!

I’m sure the keyword “overcoming obstacles” is not the easiest to rank for as it’s packed with loads of high authority sites, but look what ranks #1.

Related: DA vs DR: Which metric should you use? 

Advantages Of EMD For Affiliate Marketing

Let’s take a look at the overall advantages and disadvantages of an EMD.

Keyword-Heavy Anchor Text

If you’re building backlinks, of course, you will have some branded ones.

However, if you have an EMD, then your exact keywords will be in the branded backlinks, meaning you will be able to go for a little bit more keyword-heavy anchor text. 

This can also contribute to you eventually taking up the whole SERPs and leaving no chance for anybody else. 

Let’s say for example, your EMD is bestwashingmachinecleaner.com, you’re going to get a lot of anchor text like this:

Multiple Rankings

Using an EMD, it’s a little easier to get multiple rankings.

This of course, will result in a huge CTR for that keyword, meaning you will get more traffic. 

And, your competitors will have little chances outranking you. 

Overall Unfair Advantage 

With an EMD, you have a real unfair advantage.

The keyword is literally your brand name resulting in:

  • Multiple rankings (sometimes)
  • More keyword-heavy anchor text
  • A more-optimized site for that keyword

Disadvantages Of EMD For Affiliate Marketing

There are some disadvantages to EMD too. Here are the main three:

Usually Not Good For Branding

It’s usually not very good for branding purposes.

If your name is bestcreditcardrepaircompanies.com  that’s not a very brandable name. 

There are some occasions where it can be very brandable, but not always. 

Useless in Competitive Niches

If it’s in a competitive niche, then there really isn’t much point in having an EMD. 

You will never really get to the point of good branding like all of your competitors, so it’s practically useless. 

As I mentioned earlier, only use it in low-competitive niches. 

Some people say it’s useless if it’s not a Home Page-heavy SERP

Some people say it’s useless, if the SERP doesn’t really seem to rank home pages.

However, I still think it gives you a decent advantage, due to the branded backlinks and the fact that your site will be better optimized for that keyword overall. 

Eventually, you will probably also be able to grab multiple rankings, depending on how many links you build, your content, and the competition of that SERP. 

Best Uses For Your Money Site

There are two ways that I use/have used EMD  in the past.

I’m not sure if there are any other ways to use them, but here are the two ways that I have used them.

So, if you want to use an EMD, you can use one of these strategies. 

Using It For Your Money Site

The first way is the more simple way which is to just build your money site on it. 

For example, let’s say you are doing some local SEO, lead gen type of stuff and you live in a random city, for this example, let’s say bristol. And, your niche for this example is TV aerial installers.

So, now, you can register a domain name named TVaerialinstallers.com and build a basic lead gen site on it, maybe offering a free quote best price guaranteed. 

Then you build out the site, build some links, and eventually, you will rank (if you do everything well).

That’s it. 

Now, you can get paid for the leads you generate for your local client.

Related: Blogging vs YouTube

Redirect Strategy

The second way is the redirect strategy.

No, you don’t just buy it and redirect it to your money site, if that’s what you’re wondering.

What you do, is you buy it, rank it, and then redirect it. 

Keep in mind, that you can sometimes see a 10-30% traffic loss when redirecting, so is it worth the effort?

I’m not sure. For most SERP’s, I don’t think it would be, as you can probably rank almost as well with a normal site.

However, there may be some cases where you really want a specific keyword, so you use an EMD, but you also want it on your brand name, so you use this strategy. 

How To Find EMD For Affiliate Marketing

First of all, you need to find some profitable keywords. 

Now, you want to do a SERP’s analysis and see if homepages are ranking, what sort of content is ranking, and look at the difficulty of ranking for this keyword.

Make sure the keyword has buyer-intent, otherwise, there isn’t much point of building a site on your EMD. 

Once, you have found a couple of them, maybe you can use specific keyword patterns as templates for example:




The point is, they all have best in them.

Now, when you go and check if these domains are available, you can just run through them and see which ones are and which ones aren’t.

Afterwards, you can then cross out all the ones that aren’t and see which one you want to build a site on. 

EMD For Affiliate Marketing: Conclusions

EMD for affiliate marketing can still be effective for multiple reasons outlined in this article.

You can really dominate the SERP for a specific keyword by using one if the competition is pretty low.

However, it’s always worth checking to see whether or not it is actually worth using one because sometimes it isn’t. 

If you do want to use an EMD, just make sure to research it well and see whether or not it’s actually worth it, for the keyword you are targeting. 

Usually speaking, you can gain some sort of advantage from using one, for example, the keyword-heavy anchor text that I mentioned earlier. 

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