Google’s Matt Cutts: Domain Clustering To Change Again; Fewer Results From Same Domain

google-domains-featuredGoogle’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted a new video about a new change coming to Google’s search results related to the diversity of the results being displayed.

Matt said that Google is launching “soon” a new change that will make it less likely to see results from the same domain name, if you already have been shown that domain name in previous results three or four times before. Matt explained that once you’ve seen a cluster of about four results from a specific domain name, the subsequent pages are going to be less likely to show you results from that domain name.

To explain this in more detail, Cutts explained the history behind domain diversity in the search results. As Matt explained, the goal is to strike the right balance between offering diverse results but at the same time returning the best and most authoritative search results for the query.

The history for domain clustering within Google is as follows:

  • There was no restrictions in the number of results per domain name. This turned out to be a bad thing, as Matt explained.
  • Google added “host clustering,” that prevented more than two results per domain name to be shown in the search results. Webmasters got around this by placing content on subdomains.
  • Google expanded the clustering to show a max of 3 or 4 results per domain, instead.
  • Google then changed this to show more diversity on the first page of results but show less diversity on the secondary pages. So you’d likely not see more than two results from the same domain name on the first page, but you can see several results from the same domain on secondary pages.
  • Launching soon is a change to this to show less from the same domain, even on subsequent pages, after you’ve already seen about four results from the same domain for that query.

Google has frequently changed the diversity of domains in the search results and we expected this change as we reported earlier.

Matt Cutts did explain this most recent change was in response to several complaints, likely including our complaint about the diversity of the search results.

Here is the video:

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Features: Analysis | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | SEO: Host Crowding & Clustering | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • newyorker_1

    it’s about time. Results for many queries look ridiculous with 10 results from same domain per page on pages 3 and later.

  • klippers

    I hope this works. I’m tired of literally sorting through pages of the same domain for a single product (i.e. Amazon).

  • Joseph Rega

    Didn’t they say they were going to do this with the last update?

  • Keith Brown

    In the end I’m not really as concerned with monopolizing traffic on page 2-100. Let’s just be honest :)

  • a1brandz

    Does this mean a page will not be rank in SERP with multiple keywords if one of its keywords ranked on First page of Google.

  • Ishwor Singh

    well the idea is target particular page for specific keyword in the site and same with the other pages on the site.

  • Deepti Gupta

    Reduction of domain clustering would give users a variety of websites to suit their needs.Thanks google

  • John Adams

    To hide more result from the same page has been a problem for a while, but what about the new go about, companies to start more domains and dominate the first page in the search results? Hos is Google to go about solving that issue?

    If we regular searchers start to see the whole picture, i hope that Matt Cutts team wont give it another 5 years to decide that big companies should´t do that.

  • Joel Dench

    Spun sentences from same domain, even when they’re spread in various pages, is easily the most frustrating user going through, when Google and Cutts are likely to realize that?

  • jimbeetle

    By “host clustering” I assume you mean when Google was showed the second occurrence as an indented result. That prevented more than two results being shown *per page*. It was possible — even likely — that two more results from the same host would show on subsequent pages.

  • Arun Jaiswal

    MC is confused,, and he could not understand how he use the POWER of GOOGLE…Some time he claim that Google Search want to display RESULT from Same domain as Traffic want to see different pages of BRANDED domain,,

    And when he got complain than He is taking U tern and going back to previous policy to show result max 3 to 4 from one Domain..

    I do not think his BRAIN is like child.. I think he is MAD,, and want to see this search world from his OWN thoughts,, and as the power in his hand.. he is talking like a DICTATOR…

  • Arun Jaiswal

    Agreed .. and this was the Previous policy before all these UPDATE.. when MC was frequently come into NEWS.. i.e before PANDA and Penguin update..

    I could say this as I am in Internet marketing Since Google BORN… 1998…

  • Last Seo On Earth

    Big fishes are surely gonna cry as they occupy sometimes more than 4 places on the same SERP.

  • Faizaan Khan

    and vice versa, it must not show a single product from multiple domains.. I have seen products dominating the top page from multiple domains.. in software industry, it has been seen too often.. try writing FREE REGISTRY CLEANER in google and you will see a product appearing 4 times on first page….

  • Higher Leap

    This sounds like a great move to me. It’s a long time coming and I for one am looking forward to it.


  • Simon Hawtin

    This will only work for personalised search results then when you’re logged in? Out of interest, does anyone have any data on personalised search vs non-personalised (not signed in)?

  • Nathaniel Bailey

    I for one can’t wait for this to be finally sorted! I really hate searching for some products etc and just seeing a long list of the same 2 or 3 domains, some of which don’t even offer quality results for what I search for!

    This is from an seo point of view and a buyer point of view because I have seen it from both sides of the fence in that respect and its a pain both as an seo manager and a consumer trying to find different quality sites to compare products on, and all google does is give me different (some times some what related) products from just a few sites rather then all the different sites I know which they should be giving me in the SERPs!

  • Vincenzo Desroches

    true story – glad to see this taken affect finally.

  • Gary Le Masson

    I hope these updates about diversity will also concern the first page of results for the French Market : All the Job related Search Queries are Dominated by !

  • Chris Green

    I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but it seems to have rolled out now – our own analysis of sequential clusters in 2,000 has shown that there is 19% less domain clustering following an apparent update yesterday.

    For more details –

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide