Google’s Domain Diversity Search UpdateAs a legal marketer or law firm that continuously works to optimize its web pages for search, Google’s newest search change should be on your radar. Called the “site diversity change,” the change that rolled out last week seeks to achieve more diversity in search results by showing no more than two listings from the same domain in the top results for most searches. The change comes partly in response to feedback from users, as well as search engine optimizers, complaining over the years that Google tends to show too many results from the same domain. Here are the main components of the update to be aware of.

The change will not affect all search results

Google will show more than two results from the same domain when the system determines it is relevant for a particular search. Experts think this exception could be implemented for brand searches such as Amazon, or other cases where users would generally expect to see or benefit from multiple hits from the same domain.

Subdomains will be treated as part of the main domain

Google explained that subdomains will generally be treated as part of the root domain, but again will allow exceptions to the rule when deemed “relevant.” For example, sites that issue subdomains to users, such as WordPress.com, will be treated separate from the unique sites and will therefore not impact the subdomain’s search listings limit.

Related to this point is that different geographic domains coming from the same parent site are treated separately as well.

Only core results will be impacted

The change only applies to the main listings on Google, so it does not stop your domain from showing up more than twice in featured snippets, map listings, images, and other web results.

This isn’t about content

Google is not looking to see whether the content is the same across domains they limit to two listings. They are strictly focused on reducing duplicate search results from the same domain.

Your rankings won’t be affected

Just because more than two pages from your domain won’t show up in the top results doesn’t mean Google no longer ranks them highly. However, Google does admit the change could potentially affect traffic if you previously had multiple results from your domain on the first page of Google for certain searches.

It isn’t perfect

Users have already shared examples with Google of searches that produced more than two results from the same domain. Google acknowledged that any release is going to have some imperfections, but stated they will continuously work to improve the technology.

Takeaway

While Google’s domain diversity search update is not something to be alarmed about, it could impact users who try to get their domains to show up multiple times on Google for certain search queries. You should carefully track your results to see if Google’s update impacts your site and if it does, you may need to consider adjusting your SEO strategy. However, as mentioned, the update shouldn’t affect your ranking results.

As with any change to social media or search engine marketing systems, it’s important to understand the update and how it can affect you, and make adjustments as needed. If you want to learn more about Google search results and SEO, contact us today.

Google’s Domain Diversity Search

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