EMDs Aren't Everything: Ask Rick Santorum
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EMDs Aren’t Everything: Ask Rick Santorum

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Despite owning the exact match domain, Rick Santorum not #1 in Google

As much as I’d like to believe that exact match domain names (EMDs) can be very important for a company to own because of their search engine advantages, they certainly aren’t the be all end all. Case in point, US presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, a Republican from Pennsylvania.

Smartly, Mr. Santorum owns the exact match domain name, RickSantorum.com. His campaign operates the website, and it does pretty well in Google. Unfortunately for Mr. Santorum, it seems that even the exact match domain name won’t get him the #1 result, as Politico has pointed out today.

Do a search on Google for “Rick Santorum” or simply “Santorum,” and you’ll see a site SpreadingSantorum.com as the #1 result. The meta description pretty much tells you that someone is working hard to get the top result ahead of Mr. Santorum’s website: “Santorum 1. The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. 2. Senator Rick Santorum.”

This is an example of why some companies, especially those that are proficient with SEO, aren’t all that interested in descriptive / exact match domain names. I still believe exact match domain names are great for branding and help convey authority, but they aren’t everything and can still be beaten by SEO.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (12)

    Leonard Britt

    Another issue that one sees with product & some service searches is that Google & Yahoo are placing 2-3 paid ads above the organic search results. So a site which perhaps would have ranked #4-6 on page 1 now gets less traffic than it would otherwise.

    September 20th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Steve

    Sure EMD can be beaten by SEO, but how much will that extra SEO cost you over a period of X?

    September 20th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    David

    EMD + SEO = WIN

    September 20th, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Ms Domainer

    *

    Santorum is a joke.

    I don’t think it matters what domain he owns; he’s his own worst enemy, with a bad case of foot-in-mouth.

    He couldn’t even beat a Democrat for his own Senate seat, and this in a state that favors Republicans (except in presidential races).

    As a Pennsylvanian, I was so happy when Casey whupped his a$$, and I knew from the start that his presidential bid would flop.

    *

    September 20th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    SL

    The surprising thing is that the site has never wavered from the #1 spot going on 8 years now for ‘santorum’. And I don’t ever remember ricksantorum.com getting above the fifth SERP entry.

    Goes to show that backlinks still count. And saying really ignorant things is not a smart idea…

    September 20th, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Olney

    Great post.
    A lot of people don’t realize just how much data global companies have from SEO/SEM strategies.

    A great domain is absolutely fantastic for branding & for strong campaign purposes especially if it matches exactly what the target user wants.

    As you said it’s not everything & not every company can own & develop every great keyword domains for their industry. They can capture conversions through SEO & paid search (SEM) though for those terms.

    September 20th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    gowilner

    Not sure if I agree with your comparison, if a person goes out and publicly upsets/offends a tech savvy demographic then registers a domain name what do you expects going to happen.

    Google bombed or w/e you want to call it.

    If you spam SEs with an EMD then get deindexed are you going to say EMDs aren’t everything, because some other site is showing up instead of yours?

    Interesting discussion nonetheless

    September 21st, 2011 at 2:12 am

      Elliot Silver

      “if a person goes out and publicly upsets/offends a tech savvy demographic then registers a domain name what do you expects going to happen. ”

      @ gowilner

      Same can be said about any vertical, like insurance. In most worthwhile industries, there are companies who are very competitive with search results. Having the EMD may be helpful but isn’t everything.

      September 21st, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Jonathan

    EMD+ com = cognitive, seamless, trust and only one of v endless competing brands wedded to paying seo personnel & most posting on the same forums for answers.

    September 21st, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Jonathan

    @ Elliot Silver: Helpful is edge enough in a highly competitive market as Quinstreet proved.

    September 21st, 2011 at 10:40 am

    wsmithdesign

    Rick could easily win the keyword competition. No SEO is not just EMD or pure link popularity. Link structure, site structure, clean coding and content all come into play.

    Rick’s home page is a coding mess without text links supporting his site or content. It is a script redirect which does the redirect after the first visit. It in essence is a non-seo friendly splash page that if it were effective content could be delivered using jquery and ajax with better user experience and be SEO friendly. … and that is just the start.

    September 23rd, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Uncle Sammy

    @ Ms Domainer

    That swings both ways….

    What about Dems losing on their turf in recent history ??? —–> a) California Gov Grey Davis getting virtually booted with a landmark Recall .. b) NYC Mayorship (Bloomberg wins 3 terms) and c) NJ Governor (Christie prevails).. therein giving seats to GOPers on turf they usually dominate…..as for foot in mouth, Biden & Nancy Pelosi almost got the market cornered on that … not getting too political here just puting a little more balance on history…. I am an Independent… but still,, don’t forget ex Senetor & Governor Jon Corzine on legal hot street now for dubious financial/Wall Street-ish scandal..ouch !

    January 4th, 2012 at 1:51 am

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