On June 6th, Google announced an update to its search results with the goal of increasing “site diversity.” The Google Search update will attempt to provide greater domain variety by limiting the number of results from any particular domain to two or less for a specific search query.
That means you will need to adapt your SEO strategy to this new change to enhance your results. Otherwise, you risk being negatively affected by it. So here’s what you need to know:
Greater Diversity of Google Search Results
Throughout the years, SEO experts have been tasked with finding unique and creative ways to overcome the fact that Google’s top search results often show too many listings from the same site. This can allow one company or domain to dominate a particular search query.
So in the past, if you searched for a specific keyword, you might see 4, 5, or even more of the top 10 results from the same site. With this new site diversity update, Google is now aiming to not show any more than two results from the same domain for any query.
There Will Be Exceptions to the Rule
Google will maintain the right to veer away from its “two results” limit if they deem it appropriate. One theory on why Google might do this is to allow more accurate results for branded queries. For example, if you searched for a brand like Nike, you would see more than two results from Nike.com on the first page.
Subdomains are Treated as a Part of the Root Domain
Google will consider subdomains and root domains as being the same site. So if your subdomain is blog.example.com, it will be treated the same as your root domain of www.domain.com and will be counted as one of the two results allowed.
Of course, there’s another exception. Google will reserve the right to treat a subdomain and root domain as different sites if “deemed relevant” for diversity.
The Update Will Only Affect Core Results
For now, Google is containing the update to core results only. Other On-SERP SEO factors like carousels, snippets, and top stories won’t be affected.
Domain Diversity is a Long-Running Theme for Google
Google is no stranger to updating their SERP algorithm to provide greater domain diversity. Since 2012, they have gradually made changes to limit the number of results from one domain for a given search query.
While not all of the changes have been publicly confirmed, SEO marketers have noticed the silent updates throughout the years and adjusted accordingly.
The Takeaway Going Forward
If you are trying to get your domain to dominate the Google search results for specific queries, this will undoubtedly affect you. One of the primary industries likely to be affected is reputation management, although other search professionals will see an impact as well.
For anyone looking to rank more than two pages from the same domain for the same search query, you’ll want to ensure that your analytics are robust. That way, you can measure how this recent Google update will affect your sites moving forward.