Exact match domains (EMDs – e.g. www.bestplumberisleofdogs.com, www.dogsittingshoreditch.co.uk) used to be a popular SEO hack that was abused by SEOs to the point it was contained by Google update from 2012. But “exact matches” still have a place in the SEO/content game – but not as exact match domains or achors. Meet Exact Match Subfolders – a method of organizing your content hierarchy in a way that helps Google understand your content-topic relevance and helps you rank faster, without exact match domains.
What are Exact Match Subfolders?
Exact match subfolders are subfolders on your domain that match the keyword you want to rank for.
They are a perfect “home” for your topical pillar pages – which can live on their own subfolder instead of on the blog.
For example – if you want to create pillar pages for the different use cases (product analytics, product adoption, user sentiment) of your product, you can put them into the relevant subfolder on your domain.
The exact match subfolder URLs will look like this:
And the pillar page URLs will look like this:
This may send a signal to Google that your content has higher topical relevance for the target keyword.
How to use Exact Match Subfolders?
Exact match subfolders can be a way to help your cornerstone content pieces rank faster and create a better content hierarchy. Consider putting pillar pages (content “hubs”) on keyword-relevant subfolders rather than on the “blog”, “guides” or “pages” subfolder.
You can use them to categorize content/resources/blogs related to a specific use case of your product:
Are you using exact match subfolders in your content hierarchy? Let me know if they work for you!