It has been a hectic week for the SEO community and everyone running an SEO campaign. Another Google update has rolled out with focus on diversifying search results. In a report posted on Search Engine Land, Google will show a maximum of two results from the same domain for each top query.
Search Results Diversity
Users have complained about pages from the same website appearing on top search results. For one query, they can see 4 to 5 links under one domain, putting lesser ranked sites at a disadvantage. Google will limit these results to two in this new search update.
According to Google: “A new change now launching in Google Search is designed to provide more site diversity in our results. This site diversity change means that you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results.”
Subject to Google’s Discretion
While many sites might get hit by this new update, Google says it won’t always be the case. Everything is subject to their discretion. Where appropriate, some websites or domains may not be affected by this new search results rule.
Google explained: “We may still show more than two in cases where our systems determine it’s especially relevant to do so for a particular search.” This may have something to do with paid ads or branded queries. If you search a trusted global brand for example, naturally the SERPs would list down as many pages from their website.
What about Subdomains?
A subdomain will be considered as part of your website domain. It will be counted as part of the two results. Google 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.”
Once more, Google may treat other subdomains differently but only “when deemed relevant to do so.” They justified in their website.
New Update Will Not Affect Non-Core Results
Google clarified that the 2019 Core Update that started early in the week is different from this search results update. The latter will only impact core results – not snippets, image carousesl and related search features. There is no connection between the two releases, said Google.
The search results update rolled out two days ago and has fully gone live today.
You will see your analytics and Search Console data changing beginning June 2019 because of the recent core and domain diversity updates.
How Will You Be Affected?
The impact will barely be felt. And it’s not really an update. According to Google’s Danny Sullivan: “Things that ranked highly before still should. We just don’t show as many other pages.” What he said may or may not hold water, but one thing’s for sure: search results are no longer the same.
If you’re one of those sites hoping to dominate certain queries, this new update is giving you a proper heads-up. However, for sites that already rank well and have multiple pages on top searches, it could be a bummer. Check your Google analytics and search console and whether your traffic is still in good shape.
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