In June 2019 Google announced a further change for its algorithm. This correction was soon named “The Site Diversity Update”. Its main target was to reduce the number of listings from one domain (including their subdomains) on one search result page.

Site Diversity Change An Algorithm Update?

SearchEngineJournal emphasized that it´s merely a change that concerns the way results are going to be displayed. Especially on the first page of the listings, more domains appear to be listed.  But it´s less than an algorithm change.

One could say Site Diversity Change didn´t imply a modification of the parameters that are used to rank a webpage for a certain keyword or keyphrase but a filter.

Danny Sullivan from Google pointed out that in his opinion Site Diversity Change was not an update because this change didn´t involve an update to the ranking algorithm. Yet Twitter users didn´t hold back with their opinions about the implications.

Changes Yes – But Not In Any Case

Important in this context remains the fact that Google didn´t declare the change to be all-embracing or global. More or less “you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results”. So it can be but isn´t necessarily the case.

Takeaways From Searchmetrics

Searchmetrics checked the reach of this change for thousands of keywords comparing results from March before the announced change with the June SERPS after the implementation of “Site Diversity Update”.

The takeaways from their findings are:

“The main developments are:

  • Keywords returning more than 3 URLs from one domain in the top 10 are effectively zero, down from 1.8%
  • Three URLs from one domain now appear for just 3.5% of keywords, a drop of almost half from 6.7%
  • The proportion of keywords for which two URLs from a single domain are displayed has risen slightly: from 43.6% before the update to 44.2% afterwards.”

So apparently this more represents a slight move in the direction of site diversity than a complete change of the rules.

Interesting flashback: a long time ago Google went exactly the other way round.

In August 2010, in the “Brand Update” as MOZ calls it, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the search results were now sometimes displayed in favor of big brands/sites.

“We periodically reassess our ranking and UI choices, and today we made a change to allow a larger number of pages from the same site to appear for a given query. This happens for searches that indicate strong user interest in a particular domain.”(1)

And still in 2013, as Twitter-User Jim Stewart noticed, the arguments used and explained by Matt Cutts were quite different.



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