Google started cracking down with their big update recently. Targeting "content farms" or sites with low quality content. Before I noticed any changes with my own site, I first thought that only autoblogs and obviously poor content sites would suffer. But Ezinearticles went SPLOOSH in the Google toilet and a lot of other authorities were affected. But what about all the other low quality sites? It was probably easy for Google to hit big authority sites because they can see that they are ranking across multiple keywords. Or in other words, they have more exposure and are more noticeable. Not sure how this was quantified into an algorithm, but I'm sure someone on here has a better idea about that. What about smaller keyword specific sites? Sniper sites for example usually have non-useful crap content. Most marketers will throw some half-ass content up and backlink the crap out of it. It will rank and rank well. As a marketer I have a lot of sniper sites. I always make sure that I'm at least adding value even though my intent is to make money. But on that topic, my authority site and others like it saw a slap even though we had quality content. So the verdict is still out on why that happened. Sniper Sites are Sticking Out Like a Soar Thumb After doing a bit of looking around since this last update, all I see are sniper sites ranking anymore. We're talking about 6-8 of sites ranking for some keywords - all are sniper sites. And this worries me. Google isn't stupid and they see the same thing. How difficult would it be to get rid of exact match domains? Not too incredibly difficult or at least I think so. Practically every exact match domain is created with the intent of either getting adsense money or affiliate commissions. And we all saw how Google did with the content farm update. They slapped good and bad alike. What do you think? Are exact match domains next to go? Only time will tell... On an interesting side note... while I was looking around, I had this question... If Google were to get rid of "sniper site", what would be left? News websites, forums, yahoo answers, some web 2.0 sites. Crap sites like huffingtonpost lol. Where Am I Getting With All This? I'm not trying to start a "what if" thread that scares some of you into analysis paralysis. What I'm doing here is starting a conversation about what people thing might be happening, the best ways to diversify, and all that good stuff. Here are some of my views on this: How to Diversify? Create some websites that are not exact match. Yes, exact match domains rank like gang bustas, but they are a big footprint in my opinion. SOLUTION #1: Buy a generally related domain name. If your keyword is "acai berry miracle" then buy berrymiraclereviews.com or something that is somewhat relevant, but not exact. SOLUTION #2: Get an aged domain with PR. I have used this in some markets and it works well. Get a domain from godaddy.com's auction. On site optimization and a little off site. Chances are that you will rank pretty well. And the domain doesn't even have to match. You could have "acai berry miracle" optimized on the site and it could be bobsawesomeblog.com and have a PR of 2. How to Strengthen Your Sniper Sites? I can't really even say if this is worth doing. Like I said above, Google wasn't too picky with who they slapped. A lot of sites with honest reviews, comments, and white hat backlinks were slapped. But it would probably be a good idea to go fine tune some of your content. Maybe tune down the ads - I heard that Google targeted some sites just because of excessive ads. Lol, look at Ezinearticles.com's adsense.