Are Google now buying exact match domains?

by Matt Barnes
Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency

Earlier this week, we saw Larry Page and Sergey Brin announce that they are setting up an umbrella company called Alphabet inc. that would become a conglomerate for a large amount of companies owned previously by Google itself. In the light of this move, Larry and Sergey appointed Sundar Pichai as the new CEO of Google.

As part of the change, it was of course time for a new domain. Google's Alphabet Inc. website uses the relatively new .xyz top-level domain which was made open to use in early June 2014 as part of ICANN's new generic top-level domain program. Following the announcement of Alphabet inc. it was discovered that BMW's fleet management division of BMW are the owners of Alphabet.com where the German car manufacturers advertise their fleet company, Alphabet. BMW have now released a statement saying that they do not intend to give up the Alphabet.com domain and are in fact looking into whether any trademark infringement has taken place – Which made us investigate a little further..

We already know, as mentioned within our previous post, that hosted within the content on the new domain, people we're quick to pick up on the hidden link (behind a full stop) that pointed to hooli.xyz – a supposed Easter egg referring to HBO's Silicon Valley that launched in April 2014. This ruffled a few feathers as this blatantly goes against Googles guidelines, and due to the manner of this link, it is likely to leave abc.xyz free of being penalised.

But the rule breaking for Google doesn't stop there.

Back in September of 2012, Matt Cutts announced that Google had rolled out an exact match domain update (EMD update) that shook the online world, affecting 0.6% of English-US queries to a "noticeable degree." This led to a lot of large brands and really strong ranking domains falling out of the top 100 search results. It was made extremely clear at the time that exact match domains we're no longer considered an influence in SEO.

Following some further investigation behind Google's rule breaking antics, Dave discovered that they have proceeded to go against their own word. They had in fact gone out to acquire a number of exact match domains for themselves:

Googlealphabet.com

Googlealphabet.com whois

Googlealphabet.org

Googlealphabet.org whois

Googlealphabet.net

Googlealphabet.net whois

To name but a few…

Once again, this is Google overstepping the mark and going against their word yet it's likely we won't see any penalties arrive for them any time soon.

Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency
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