Its clear (for those who always wanted an official word on it). Exact match domains are not a good idea for SEO. We’ve had many instances where Google had reported exact keyword match as a low quality signal.
Websites will an exact keyword match domain is likely to be built up specifically for ranking against a keyword and not necessarily have to top authority. Although I agree that this is the general trend, we’ve also seen websites with partial keyword match domains with no particular agenda.
Obviously, a domain name like “free-online-cloud-servers.com” is clearly low quality and aimed at the particular keyword. The objective for such a website existing is clearly “doubtful”. However, a website like cloudservers.com or cloudappsblog.com might not be as aggressive as the first one.
Having said that, an exact keyword domain match is a good reason to indicate or question further about the intentions of the website existing. Add a layer of thin content and over optimization, the website is for sure doomed!
Exact keyword match domains were always frowned upon by white-hat SEOs, and now with the official word out from Google, and the EMD update – we have a documented reason as why not to go for an exact keyword match domain.
SEOs please take note.
P.S – I wonder if Google will take it to the next level, by checking exact keyword matches within sub-domains or page level. Food for thought.