Learn
Learn
Close

They Ask, You Answer

A revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and today’s digital consumer.

Learn MoreLearn More

Free Courses in IMPACT+

Dozens of sales, marketing, and content courses inside IMPACT+. Start learning now.

See all coursesSee all courses
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Coaching & Implementation Services
Coaching & Implementation Services
Close

Services Overview

See how you can dramatically increase your inbound leads and sales.

Services Overview

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Fast track your team’s success with IMPACT's most popular service.

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Web Design

Launch a beautiful website that consistently generates leads and revenue.

Web Design

Virtual Sales Training

Equip your sales team with comprehensive training designed to help them close more deals in today's virtual-first world.

Virtual Sales Training

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Train your company to take ownership of HubSpot and get the most out of your investment.

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Case Studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

Case Studies
Become a Coach
Become a Coach
Close

Google is Limiting Number of Search Results Per Domain to Have More Diversity in Listings

Google is Limiting Number of Search Results Per Domain to Have More Diversity in Listings Blog Feature

June 11th, 2019 min read

In a successful keyword strategy, ideally, you’d create several pieces of content and web pages targeting a single keyword query.

By doing this, you’re able to boost your site's authority for both a larger, more competitive core keyword, as well as for related subtopics holding more niche long-tail queries.

But what happens if your strategy is so successful, your content overtakes the search results page?

From a marketing perspective, this is a celebratory moment. But stepping back and thinking about the user, it can feel like such a search is limiting a searcher’s options to explore the topic fully.

For this reason, Google has announced a new “site diversity change” that limits how many domains show up on a page for a given query.

The news was first shared on Google’s Search Liaison Twitter account, and went live around June 3rd.

Despite the timing, this site diversity change is not affiliated with Google’s June 2019 core update.

Though it’s a relatively simple adjustment, there are a few important factors that site owners, webmasters, and SEO professionals should know about how this will affect their website.

What We Know About Google’s Site Diversity Change

Though the announcement came by way of a brief series of tweets, the message was jam-packed with important information to help marketers fully understand the scope and impact the change.

To make sure nothing is missed, let’s break down the announcement into its key takeaways tweet by tweet.

1. The goal is To Promote Diversity Within Search Results

As I noted earlier, this change came from feedback of wanting more variety and diversity within search listings.

This change is not made to penalize sites that optimize multiple assets for the same keyword, but rather, to give users more variety and options in search queries.

2. Google Hopes to Limit Search Listings to No More Than Two Per Domain — With Exceptions

In general, the diversity change will limit search listings from the same website to show no more than two pages (assumed to be the ones that already rank the highest or are most relevant for that term).

Although that’s the general rule, there are exceptions for cases where this is relevant. Google did not go into detail on what examples would be considered “relevant” in what scenarios, but we can assume Google is referring to situations where the user would still find these multi-page answers from the same domain helpful to their search experience.

A common example of this experience might be if you’re job searching and see multiple posts from Indeed, or looking for local restaurants and are returned with multiple pages from Yelp. These still help fulfill the user’s intent without being overbearing.

It’s also important to note that the limitation of two per domain exclusively refers to organic search listings and does not extend to Google’s other features. This was confirmed by Danny Sullivan, Google’s public search liaison.

As this feature continues to roll out, we’ll likely get a better idea of situations where Google deems “relevant” to place multiple listings vs. when the diversity change is enforced.

3. Subdomains Will Be Evaluated on a Case-By-Case Basis

Once again, relevancy plays a big factor here.

Like Google states, if you have subdomains, the general expectation should be that they will be treated as a part of your main domain.

This means that the limit will apply your main domain and your subdomain’s pages together, not separate. So, if you think you can increase exposure by diversifying subdomains, think again!

However, if Google thinks that the subdomain pages are relevant enough to show multiple times along with your main domain, it will treat them as separate within search results.

Just like the limitation rule, this will be evaluated based on relevancy for the user, and exceptions will be made on a case by case basis.

Again, as we’re able to evaluate the diversity change more closely, we’ll likely gain more clarity into when and why exceptions are made, and when they aren’t.

4. This is Not an Algorithm Change, And Will Not Directly Affect your Site’s Ranking

The reason I’ve been referring to this shift as a change rather than an update is to not cause any confusion with the June 2019 core update that occurred earlier this month.

Danny Sullivan shed some light on the distinction between an update vs. a change on Twitter, stating:

In other words, “update” generally refers to changes to Google’s algorithm that directly have an effect on how Google evaluates pages.

However, in this case, we’re referring to how Google displays pages rather than changes influencing how well a webpage should rank.

As such, Danny Sullivan also stated that these changes should not affect how well your overall site ranks on Google, though it could potentially impact traffic.

After all, if you had several pages in the top results and now only have two, that lowers the chances of someone selecting a link to your site.

It’s unclear how Google will determine which pages will make the cut if this doesn’t involve changes to rank, but it’s important to know that this change won’t penalize you in search results.


What Should Marketers Do?

Whether you know for a fact you have multiple pages ranking for the same term or aren’t quite sure, marketers should check up on how traffic and search rank changes over the next few weeks.

Given the timing, this can be especially difficult to evaluate if any drops are due to this change or should be attributed to the core update.

If you’re noticing some pages are being omitted from search results and think it may be due to the limit, try and go in and do some historical optimizations to old post and make them stronger for more niche, long-tail terms that can still get you found.

Doing so may actually help you expand your overall reach and get you found by more detailed searches.

Until then, if you have questions or notice any issues with this change, you can report it to Danny Sullivan on Twitter (@DannySullivan) or log it in Google Support’s knowledge panel.

Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Here Are Some Related Articles You May Find Interesting

Want to Contribute Content to impactplus.com? Click Here.

IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
Hundreds of courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE
Check it out
Access hundreds of digital sales and marketing courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE