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search engine optimization

My Site has Recovered from Google EMD Update Slap!

24th October 2012

Okay, guys – following up my previous post about my first few days after changing the web address of one of my sites, I want to report you the impact of my experiment so far, 10 days after the experiment commenced – so far, results are very positive (yay!)

To get everybody on the same page, let me recap a bit about my experiment: A couple of my sites were hit really bad by Google EMD update. Although the EMD update is released in parallel with Google Panda update, I’m pretty sure that the 2 sites were slapped by EMD update, not Panda. The experiment results also proved that.

What I did

Here’s what I did: Let’s say the experiment is on a site called CBR. As Google deemed the previous domain name as keyword domain name (“exact match domain” – or EMD), I decided to move the entire site (with nearly 700 indexed pages) to a new domain name that is not a keyword in any sense at all. It’s done by permanently redirect (301 redirect) every single page to the new location. Nothing new in the webmaster world, but a leap of faith for me!

The results so far

The first 10 days after the change of web address, I start seeing great results. Check this out: After getting slapped – badly – by the EMD update (losing 50 percent of traffic – mostly, if not all, organic traffic from Google) I start seeing changes in just 3 days after I move to a new location.

The new domain name on Google search engine index has taken over the ranking of the old domain name. Indeed, I still see duplicate results, but Google mentions that it does take some time to replace the indexed pages from the old domain name with the new one; so far so good – old pages are generally pushed away to 2nd, 3rd and beyond from the search engine result pages.

Also, 99 percent of the pages listed in CBR’s new location’s Sitemap file have been indexed properly by Google – in just a week.

The best news of all: I get the old ranking back! CBR is now ranked on the first page (top 10 results) on dozens of keywords. Even better, it’s now start ranking better on tough keywords, despite the fact that it’s still a long, long way to go. With that being said, traffic-wise, CBR has recovered its traffic before the EMD update started on September 27th, 2012.

google emd update recovery

The keys in speeding things up: Use Google Webmaster Tools’ “change of address” feature to formally let Google bots know about your change of web address via 301 redirect. Secondly, I keep on pitching the posts on the CBR blog in my social media pages, and has just bait a link from an authority site – among several others. So, white hat SEO and website promotion do a great job here.


Although I can’t say it’s final, but the changes are positive. I truly hope the new CBR continues to send positive signals to search engine bots, hopefully satisfying the algorithm requirements in getting better search engine ranking.

All I can say is moving to a new web address to combat EMD updates is a successful experiment. Hopefully, Google will pass PageRank value to the new domain name (it’s a PR 0 and have no MozRank, as it’s technically a new domain name) – when the changes are propagated properly, I expect the new CBR will do even better than the old one.

So – it’s like pushing the “reset” button, really. When you do bad SEO and want to recover, 301 redirects to a new web address can help you in doing so. The redirection allows you to start afresh on a squeaky clean domain name. Let’s hope you and I don’t mess it up again!

Be aware, though – you need to consider things before you move to a new web address – the process itself is not complicated. Keeping it easy for everyone – including your visitors and clients – is rather challenging.

One last thing – be sure you keep on following the updates on EMD update. I just want to make sure that you understand that EMD update is NOT a one-off Google algorithm update: It will be like Google Panda, Penguin and Top Heavy updates. What works today might not be working anymore in the future – so, always be ready!

So – how about you? Any recovery story to share? If so, please share yours by leaving a comment on this post. Many thanks in advance!

Ivan Widjaya
Recovering from EMD update is possible!

P.S. I am not an SEO expert. I am just a regular website owner who want to take risks in order to rescue my web business – if you want real advice, I recommend you to contact the right expert.

Ivan Widjaya is the owner of, as well as the founder of several online businesses:, and He runs his business from anywhere, anytime he wants.

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  • mfstaffmarco
    Posted at 9:28 pm November 27, 2013

    IMHO your screenshot doesnt show a real Google Slap, but probably a reconderation of it by BigG
    check my attachment of a real site (ever positioned to 4st poition , page 1)
    the site ( was an EMD without any poor backlinks and/or poor /scraped contents
    this is a HUGE slap and no way to reup this
    all that said, i will surely try your technics, hoping the best 🙂

  • Jocelyn Ollett
    Posted at 11:09 pm January 13, 2014
    Jocelyn Ollett

    I’m very interested to find out if your recovery has been maintained please. I’ve read that many new domains have a “honeymoon” period in Google Search, and then drop down the rankings.

  • Swayam Das
    Posted at 7:10 pm March 17, 2014
    Swayam Das

    Howz your new CBR site doing? As per a recent video excerpt from Google, it said that using 301s will pass the penalty. Is your new CBR site still ranking well? Please reply!

  • Ivan Widjaya
    Posted at 10:31 pm March 23, 2014
    Ivan Widjaya


    Honestly, I no longer care of what Google think of my site 🙂 But you are correct – 301 will pass the penalty, but my purpose in doing so was to recover from EMD update, which was a success.

  • Ivan Widjaya
    Posted at 10:34 pm March 23, 2014
    Ivan Widjaya


    Referring to the post, the redirection was for recovering from Google EMD update. It’s a success. About your comment on honeymoon period, yes, I agree with you. One of my new sites is climbing in search traffic and suddenly, it’s dropping overnight.

  • Swayam Das
    Posted at 12:10 am March 24, 2014
    Swayam Das

    @Ivan So what I understand from your statement is that your new CBR site is doing pretty well in the SERPs + by using 301 redirects its possible to ward off the EMD penalization right? Please reply your thoughts on this..

  • Ivan Widjaya
    Posted at 3:57 pm July 9, 2014
    Ivan Widjaya


    Yes – it’s possible 🙂