Latest Google Updates: EMD and Link Disavow Tool

by Galyna on October 18, 2012

This post is about latest updates in SEO industry and what you have to know about them.

EMD Update

EMD Update announced by Google on September 28, 2012

EMD stands for “Exact Match Domain” meaning that the name of domain matches main keyword. Having EMD domain name used to be a benefit. More over, it used to be a positive ranking factor.

Lots of webmasters got upset with this update (as they are after every update). But this one also affected many small brick and mortar businesses that had domains such as “” or “”.
Many of them maybe had no idea that they are getting EMD, thinking they are registering name that just sounds right.

What to do?

I’ve analyzed portfolio of my own websites as well as researched what other webmasters are saying.

  • It appears that websites that were NOT affected by this update are ones that have more QUALITY backlinks pointing to them.
  • I’ve also noticed NO correlation between the size of a website and this update. Meaning all websites (or webpages) that had low quality backlink profile are penalized regardless of how many pages they have.
  • The solution:
    – don’t rely on EMD as a single ranking factor anymore. It is still a positive ranking factors but it’s value had been reduced significantly.
    – build quality backlinks from high PR authority sites.

Link Disavow Tool

Google launched Link Disavow Tool (LDT) to help (?) webmasters that have concerns about the quality of links pointing to their site.

Google keeps talking about importance of having good quality backlinks.

Let’s go back to March, 2012 when Google publicly penalized link building services that offered paid link placement through article marketing. BMR (Build My Rank) got hit hard, hundreds of websites in their network got penalized, so they had to close their business and refund their customers.

How Big G found out that those websites belong to BMR? They never told us how they did it of course. But rumors are that G employee simply registered with BMR, then collected all URLs where his links were published and BOOM, blocked them all with one click of a button. (That was probably not all that simple. I am sure they researched dipper).

What happened to websites’ owners who used services such as BMR, back then? Their websites rankings got devalued because links that were pointing to them were no longer good.

After that update Webmasters freaked out (again). Feeling their fear, G offered them “helping hand” sending out “Unnatural Links emails”: Tell us what links you’ve obtained from link networks and we will mercy your site.    Just like police does sometimes, ha?

Some webmasters basically turned themselves in and gave out that data. Google receive that data and BOOM, another link network is destroyed.

What is LDT for Real? 

Now G made this process even easier. They created this Link Disavow Tool that webmasters can use to submit bad links pointing to their sites.

Is it good or no good? Should you use Link Disavow Tool?

I do NOT recommend using LDT:  If you use or have ever used any kind of backlink automation tool and thinking that those links are no good anymore and the only thing you have to do is to submit those links to Google – then DON’T. Have you ever thought WHY Big G can’t just find and penalize all paid link networks themselves? Why they ask YOU to submit bad links to them?    Cause they can’t!

Can they clearly see which links are bad and which are good? No! Can they tell whether link received through automated paid placement or was put by website owner himself manualy? No!

I recommend using LDT when: If you really believe (meaning you are definitely sure, 100% positive, experienced SEO professional) that you are a victim of negative SEO and this is why your rankings suffer – then DO it.


What is your opinion on these updates?

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