by Barry Schwartz and first posted on Search Engine Roundtable.
Google Change Restricts Two Listings From Same Domain For Most Search Results
Google announced last night, as I covered in detail at Search Engine Land, that they released another update earlier this week that finished rolling out yesterday. This update restricts how many times a search results listing can show in the Google search results for most queries.
In short – Google said for most queries, they will begin only showing up to two listings per domain in the top search results. This does not meant Google will only show two listings from that domain for all search results pages but rather for queries they think is makes sense to show more diversity from different domains for a query. Branded queries may show more than two, and you get the point.
Google Site Diversity in Search
Here is where Google said they have launched this update:
Two Results Max For Most Queries
Google said they generally won’t show more than two results from the same domain in the top Google search results. Google may still show more than two results if they determine a searcher would benefit from it and it is relevant for the query.
This site diversity change means that you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results. However, we may still show more than two in cases where our systems determine it’s especially relevant to do so for a particular search….
Subdomains & Root Domains Are The Same
For the most part, Google will treat subdomains as part of the main root domain. So blog.domain.com would count towards domain.com being listed in the top search results. Of course, there are examples when Google won’t consider them to be part of the same domain, like some hosting platforms will use subdomains to host unique sites – and Google will consider those separate.
Site diversity will generally treat subdomains as part of a root domain. IE: listings from subdomains and the root domain will all be considered from the same single site. However, subdomains are treated as separate sites for diversity purposes when deemed relevant to do so….
Different From June 2019 Core Update
Diversity Update Started On June 3rd Also
Danny Sullivan said this update started rolling out two days ago and finished yesterday, so technically it overlapped with the June 2019 core update rollout. We don’t know if the June core update is done rolling out but the diversity update is and of course, this can be confusing for SEOs to properly track.
It started a little bit about two days ago but went fully live today. Personally, I wouldn’t think of it like an update, however. It’s not really about ranking. Things that ranked highly before still should. We just don’t show as many other pages.
He thinks this shouldn’t confuse SEOs:
This effects rankings. For one: you’re awared less slots. That’s direct loss of rankings. Two: less chances to seduce is less interactions with the site. This should impact your site’s rankings. Three: less results for your site shown, means more SERP competition. Esp. on mobile.
No, it potentially affects traffic. If you had four different pages all doing the right things in terms of content and quality to reach the top page, then your ranking efforts are on the right track. And this doesn’t mean they aren’t as good. It just means we won’t show as many.
Only Impacts Core Web Results
So this only impacts the ten blue listings, the core web results. It does not stop you from showing more than twice because of featured snippets, local listings, images, and other search features according to Danny Sullivan:
Sounds like the diversity update will only affect regular organic results and not affect features like featured snippets, people also asks, etc.Danny Sullivan
✔@dannysullivanReplying to @MichelleRobbins and 4 others
It’s about the main listings, not various other displays on the search results.
Domain Based, Not Content Based
This is strictly related to domains and doesn’t look to see if the content is the same across different domain names. This is not a duplicate content thing…
It Is Not Perfect
Google said this is not perfect and Google will make updates to it over time:
Great news, though it doesn’t seem to work in some verticals, eg: jobs. See my search for a specific job in Google UK, VPN geotargeted to London. I get 4 Indeed listings for irrelevant locations to a Uk user. @JohnMu something to look into maybe?
We’ll be looking to improve. I’ll pass this on.
Google Has Done This Before
And Gary Illyes weighs in:
More diversity in the search results (10 blue). Unrelated to core algo update.
If you lost traffic because of this, please tweet @JohnMu . If you gained traffic, feel very free to tweet at me. kthxbaiGoogle SearchLiaison
Have you ever done a search and gotten many listings all from the same site in the top results? We’ve heard your feedback about this and wanting more variety. A new change now launching in Google Search is designed to provide more site diversity in our results….
So there you have it – that is everything we know about this specific update – which you do or don’t have to call an “update” if you don’t want it. Call it a “change” or “feature” or whatever you want.