The decline of EMD niches VS branding niches - Google in 2020


Blogger3zero has brought me many wonderful things. One of them is that it has allowed me to meet countless talented readers in the SEO world.

That's the case with Gaizka, a reader of this blog with whom we started a conversation in the comments about the relevance of EMDs and branded niches in the eyes of Google that led to an invitation from me and the post you are reading today.

In B30, if you are good, have talent and want to show it to the world, anything is possible!

Table of contents

  • 1 Reasons for writing this post
  • 2 Inflection point
  • 3 Why will a brand be useful?
  • 4 When did this happen?
    • 4.1 BERT and my opinion
    • 4.2 Google Core Update May 2020
  • 5 Setting up the experiment
  • 6 Experiment 1 - New niche // 01-01-2020
    • 6.1 Additional notes
    • 6. 2 Result of experiment 1
      • 6.2.1 Search Console data
      • 6.2.2 Data from Google Analytics
    • 6.3 Conclusion on experiment 1
  • 7 Experiment 2 - Bert Brand Niche Station Enhancement
    • 7.1 Additional notes
    • 7.2 Results of Experiment 2
    • 7.3 Conclusion on experiment 2
  • 8 Experiment 3 - New niche // 01-09-2019
    • 8.1 Additional notes
    • 8.2 Result of experiment 3
    • 8.3 Conclusion on experiment 3
  • 9 Final conclusions

I'll leave you with an SEO post, where a nichero will tell you about his own findings on the type of niches that Google values most, right now, summer 2020.

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Hello everyone, how are you?

This is my first time writing a guest post on Blogger3cero, a post from one of the posts Dean wrote on niches and branding. Thanks for the opportunity, Dean.

Let me introduce myself briefly. My name is Gaizka Graña and I have been doing websites, programming and projects for many years, until I started working professionally as an SEO specialist.

Why SEO/Marketing? Because trusting, creating and seeing a successful project gives you an incredible rush and you always want more. Besides, if no one can find you, what good is it to you?

Well, let's get down to business!

I will share with you my recent experiences on EMD or Exact Match Domain, because I think the future of these areas is pretty dark and we will have to start changing our mindset and creating "brands".

Reasons for writing this post

Google grants of morein moreimportance to the quality and freshness of the contentThis is a reality that we all know. Messages must be increasingly elaborate, and it is essential that they provide real value to the user, trying to solve 100 % of search intent, with the problem that this implies.

As Dean said in the post I mentioned at the beginning:

"Google doesn't want noise in its SERPS, but the highest quality results and the best possible care for the user"

This goes completely against what we all know about niches:

  • Adsense: Wow, I have the domain with the free keyword, I put WordPress with the GeneratePress theme to go hard, the 20 landings I published are positioned, the users start to enter, I put Adsense and forget about it.
  • AmazonSame as AdSense. Few webmasters go further.

This strategy worked over time (including for me), but in the end, what we did was burst the SERPs with noise, poor websites, with the right content, the same white design with CTAs and banners to burst, and with only one goal: monetize. Sound familiar?

Turning point

I think that we have enough of our own (this seems redundant) and seeing niches in SERPs saying :  " keyword in the domain and 200 emojis in the metadescription and in the title...., guaranteed niche " .

This is something that we have somehow transferred to the normal userwho is looking for information because he really has a problem and wants to solve it. People realize that these pages provide just the right amount of value (often nothing at all)

This "rejection decreases gradually CTR in SERPs and therefore our keywords, which leads to a worse positioning. And that's not all, even if the user enters the website, he can produce more waiting time by seeing copies and copies of the same thing in different niche sites.

I'll tell a mini anecdote: the other day my mother asked me: "Gaizka, I've been searching for some things on Google and I keep getting similar pages with ads, is it a scam? They want to get something for sure.

I don't remember exactly how she said it, but it was something like that.

This feeling, of which we ourselves are aware, is beginning to spread among users and Google is also conscious.

Google is "getting tired" of seeing niches and more niches for the sole purpose of monetizing, and that's why I'm writing this post.

I think that's something that Google is going to try to gradually reduce. In fact, I think it's been doing it for a while now.

Why would a brand be useful?

For the simple reason that if you're thinking about building a brand and getting it out there, I'm pretty sure you're going to put a lot more effort into it and pay attention to the details

Ultimately, this will result in Better quality, content-rich websites that make a real contribution to the userBecause in your mind, you created it to build a brand and not "just" to make money.

When did this happen?

We know that Google is placing more and more importance on branded traffic and, as a result, giving it a higher ranking. This is something that has been announced for some time and we can see it on our websites with every algorithm update.

BERT and my opinion

Following the entry of Bert, and especially from September 2019I don't know about you, but my niches started to fall in all those that had EMD. It is true that they did not fall in their entirety, but it is something that caught my attention.

Another curious fact is that in those where I used branding, they grew, even with little or no link building, which is something I wanted to study as one of the goals of this post: the branding and my experiences.

Google Core Update May 2020

The May 4, 2020Google released an update to its main algorithm (which happens several times a year). Well, this update came at a rather difficult time.

The first search on what they touched is the subject of this post, the branded niches and niches with "poor" content.

We note that the and the latter have fallen back to the ground.. I have investigated cases in which the drop in traffic has been as high as 90 %

According to the survey and what I have read:

  • Newspapers ✔️
  • Strong corporate websites ✔️
  • Branded websites ✔️
  • AMP ✔️
  • Niche websites, usually EMD, with little content ⭕

Setting up the experiment

At this point, I wanted to see for myself if it was true or just guesswork, so I went for it.

It is quite easy to search for the names of websites. I usually use the following:

  • Total brand:
    • Toys for children : Jupani
  • Brand + kw :
    • Play

I recommend total marking.

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Experiment 1 - New niche // 01-01-2020

For experiment 1, I decided to create a niche in the field of clothing, a very competitive subject because in the SERPs, we always find big brands like Zara, Bershka, Mango, Pull&Bear, etc. for most transactional queries.

For informational queries, it's not much better, since we have Vogue, Glamour, Hola, Pinterest...

In the end, and knowing that it was going to be quite complicated, I wanted to test my theory, so I went for it

The niche was created, designed and optimized before January 1, 2020 and indexed on the same day.

Additional notes

  • Always marked, I have bought social traffic from Facebook and Instagram to get users from minute 1, even if the domain was new, as well as other sources and nofollow links to bring me traffic; I focus on that and not on linkjuice.
  • I did not bought no link and did not place any simply to test the power of traffic and branding.
  • I worked on social media
  • An entirely new field

Result of experiment 1

The result was pretty good. They may not be "gigantic" figures, but given this niche feature, they seem like great figures to me.

I'm still waiting to see how far it can go without having to bring out the "artillery". Also, since the last update on May 4, my theory has only been confirmed.

Search Console data

In Search Console, we see that it's still on a good trajectory, with a nice surge in early March, which is maintained, and a final surge after the May update. The good news is that it is still on the rise.

gsc nicho marca ropa

Data from Google Analytics

I put in Google Analytics so you can see that I didn't buy extreme traffic through social networks, essentially about 1500 users came in without organic. What stands out here is the average duration and a good bounce rate.

ga nicho ropa

Conclusion on experiment 1

In short, we used a very competitive niche in the apparel industry, considered branding throughout the process and purchased a strong logo, corporate colors, flyers, aesthetics, video promotions, social media work and social traffic.

It should also be noted that no link building has been done yet; I want to see how well the site holds up without it and check the maximum effect.

We can see that if you work well on a brand and put a lot of effort into it, you can get good results.

I tried this kind of complicated niches with EMD and the result was zero, doing exactly the same thing, which gives me food for thought

Experiment 2 - Improving the Bert brand's niche position

This project was abandoned but it had "something" of a brand. This is a news site about video games, which is also a very competitive subject, I seem to like the risk!

I saw him suddenly "wake up" in October, after the deployment of BERT.

It caught my attention, so I decided to improve it and test my theory by assiduously adding articles, improving WPO and adding social trafficsocial mentions, etc.

Additional notes

  • I did not buy any links nor put normal links, again just to test the power of traffic and branding.
  • I worked on social media
  • I have not not optimized posts or anything related to SEO for download
  • Stagnant niche for some time

Result of experiment 2

After Saint Google rolled out the update, I received notifications in several tools that clicks and impressions had increased, and I said, " But it was abandoned!

That's when I started working on this niche and improving it frequently to complete the experiment.

As you can see, there's a big spike in October 2019, it stays there and then drops a little bit, but then after a little bit of work, it starts to spike up to today, which continues to grow quite well.

nicho videojuegos gsc

Conclusion on experiment 2

We see considerable peaks, and this is because nothing special was done, except that at the time it was created as a brand, in addition to social networks, of course.

Why has this spike occurred now, when Google is talking so much about quality and branded traffic?

It should also be taken into account that the niche was almost static for a year and a half and that the growth was due to the update. Of course, after seeing the spike, content began to be added frequently, but no link building.

I'm going to continue not putting it on to see how far it goes.

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Experiment 3 - New niche // 01-09-2019

This experiment (although I did it before the other two), I decided to leave it for #3, as I cheated a bit with this one, even though I had in mind, and still have in mind, to create a strong brand.

It started to take shape in August 2019 and really started after BERT.

This is a niche on legal issues and documentation.

Additional notes

  • I worked on social media
  • We bought a few links to start, but as the project grew, we got natural links
  • New domain
  • Quality and fresh content

Result of experiment 3

In the graph of the Search Console, we can see from the origin of this meganicho until today.

A lot of hours have been invested, a lot of editorial work with content that really offers "something more" than the competition, effort and audiovisual content.

I'm pretty happy with the results, considering it's not even a year old, and we're already close to 20 million impressions and aiming for a million clicks.

He has a long way to go, and he is an excellent candidate to continue to trust this project and create a stable brand.

legal nesting

Conclusion on experiment 3

A publication schedule has been created, everything is in order, a good link building strategy, a web structure with content clusters and a good interlinking.

We have always thought about building a strong brand and not just monetizing it.

In the end, it was a resounding success in January 2020, achieving quite good results in such a short time.

Note: Since this is a niche market focused on legal/labor experts and end-users, sales decrease on weekends, as everything is designed for working hours, hence sales decrease on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Final conclusions

It is difficult to draw clear conclusions, and even less with so few experiments performed, but I did not have time to perform more

I don't mean that niches will disappear, far from it, but simply that we will have to make more and more efforts if we want to obtain good results and not continue to disrupt the SERPs with empty content that is of no use to the user.

Often we are driven by feelings, at least that happens to me. I feel like creating a brand niche, buying social traffic and trying to get as much traffic as possible in the beginning to break out the sandbox seems to "start" sooner and better.

What do you think about it?

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