New Google Update “Improves Diversity” Of Domains In Results

google-g-logo-2012There’s been chatter about Google having done some type of algorithm update this week that’s having an impact on rankings. Now it’s finally confirmed, a new change meant to allow more domains to appear in search results.

The head of Google’s spam fighting team Matt Cutts tweeted this about it:

Just fyi, we rolled out a small algo change this week that improves the diversity of search results in terms of different domains returned.

Lately, more and more people have been noting that Google’s search results can sometimes be dominated by pages that all come from the same domain. In other words, do a search, and all the listings seem to come from the same web site.

Here’s an example of this from last month, when we wrote about the problem:

If the new change was designed to correct this, so far for the search shown above, it’s had no impact. The results today are still dominated by the same time.

However, in other cases, perhaps it is helping allow more variety in web sites being shown in a search. We’ll update as we get more information.

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Chris Hudson

    checked your “results” link above and, on at least, all the sites listed are now from different domains

  • Dr. Peter J. Meyers

    Pre-Penguin (early April), my domain diversity metric was just above 60% (60% of measured rankings had unique sub-domains, basically) – it peaked at 60.7%. It’s been as low as 55.0%. Currently, it’s at 55.7%. From 9/6-9/9, it climbed 0.4% – very little change for yesterday (when we suspect a major update).

    Sorry, that’s a lot of numbers. Short story is that they’ve got a long way to go to get diversity back to pre-Penguin levels. Of course, mine is only one data set and one way to measure diversity, but it’s the only data I’ve seen on the subject. I’d love to see more people crunch the numbers.

  • Sheldon Campbell

    The same search is now nicely distributed here in Calif., too.

  • Jaan Kanellis

    Dog chasing its algorithmic tail!

  • Sarah Vee

    Danny.. seems panda has been update as your explanation. i just find on google search with christoper jagmin keyword, it’s already show the different domain result.

  • Kevin Spence

    It’s still showing all results from the same domain for me, so maybe this thing is still rolling out.

  • Terence Milbourn

    Danny ~ not sure if this patch has made it as far as the UK yet. I was just noticing how many of the same sites were coming up on one page of the SERPs earlier today (Friday 14th) using Google SSL Web Search (beta), so I started using Blekko instead. That cured it… 8^)

  • Luis Galarza

    Is time for an update on SEO strategies for us marketers!

  • Boni satani

    Much Needed Update, hope to see it work more efficiently in the coming days.

  • Jim Hobson

    One could interpret that each of these changes by Google is a defacto admissions that their search results need a lot of improvement. It seems peculiar that they promote the concept that their algo’s bring back the best results for the inquiry yet continually change the SERP’s.

  • ankit Kumar

    what will happen if many sub-domain of same domain are ranking on top 4 position ? will it be easy to beat those sub-domains ?

  • Lalit Burma is showing different domains now … so food will serve to all people who are standing in line …

  • kshitiz

    good one

  • Gordon Campbell

    This is great. I’m sick of seeing some many results from the same domain in the SERPS(unless its my resutls).

  • Ben Donahower

    So?! I would think that Google, like any good company, always thinks their product has room for improvement. The ‘best results’ is relative; it’s the best compared to X. That’s not to say that it is ‘best’ as in there no possibility of improvement.

  • Ben Donahower

    It seems fair to me that there would be strong single domain SERP domination for a branded term like your example search. With that said, in general, I’m happy to see a greater diversity of domains on the search results pages.

  • Keith Sudbury

    Checked the results here on and it appears to be “fixed” I only see one mention of it in the serps and it’s site links.

  • bindu angbuhang

    Guys join minifreelance to improve your online marketing skills.

  • Hyderali Shaikh

    Yes, it seems the new update has been fixed. I can see different domains for “christopher jagmin plates” on Infact, I could see different domains for popular terms like “Apple” & “Samsung”.

  • jim louderback

    Definitely a big problem for google. Just typed in the search “start em sit em” and the first 30 or so were all from BleacherReport. I agree that Google needs to fix this, or it will drive people to other sources.

  • Abdulrahman Aldousari

    The change is in effect here in the UK. Thank you +Google, and many thanks to you +Danny Sullivan.

  • Daniel Rios

    If you delete all the cookies from the web browser and logout from your google account, the results come to normal so this has to do with personalized search. Because I was still having the same problem recently.

  • Nathaniel Bailey

    It seems to have worked a little for some results, for example when I searched for [fantasia ceiling fans] on it use to basically show just two domains for the first 7 pages of the SERPs, but now it shows some others, but is still largely dominated by the same domains once past page one (which only shows 7 results btw)

  • Matt Aster

    Are they actively trying to get back to pre-penguin levels?

  • Matt Aster

    Are they actively trying to get back to pre-penguin levels?

  • Matt Aster

    Are they actively trying to get back to pre-penguin levels?

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Has anyone noticed if there has been more of an impact for branded or non-branded searches or is it supposed to be equal across the board?

  • Link Worx Seo

    Believe personalized search is a large part of it. Have notice this same issue as well. I did a search and my search phrase produced a ton of results from LinkedIn. There were at least three to four SERP pages of nothing but LinkedIn results. Thought what the heck. Anyway, it should be safe to say that if Google noticed it and got enough complaints about it, they will continue to work on it.

  • Ralph Slate

    I think it is more of a signal that their algorithm is so complex that they don’t know exactly what is going on. I think that their add-ons, which I believe are Penguin and Panda, aren’t playing nicely with their other factors when you look at a search in general. I think that their “domain authority” likely overwhelms results, at times. That would explain why, in some searches I’m concerned with, Wikipedia shows up as something like 18 of the top 20 entries, even when the Wikipedia page in question is not on-topic to the search term. I think that Wikipedia has such high domain authority that it overwhelms all the other signals, especially when sites that normally would have shown up have been penalized.

  • Ralph Slate

    Google seems to be holding the sites it judges to a different set of standards. They don’t judge your site for Panda relative to others, they judge it on an absolute basis, with the end effect being that if your site is Panda-ized, when someone searches for a subject on which you have the only page, your page will not be returned.

  • Mircea Giurca

    Not sure if I don’t understand diversity or diversity means 5 out of 10 results from youtube

  • Kevin Gerding

    Panda and Penguin slaughtered many small mom and pop websites. We see what Google has filled this void with, and it’s not pretty. JCPenney ran an elaborate and sophisticated link building scheme that resulted in a 90 day penalty. So it’s only fair to punish small mom and pop websites duped by shady SEO companies by penalizing them twice as long or longer for utilizing unsophisticated link schemes. The thin SERPS (domain crowding) we now see in Google are the result of such penalties and a lack of anything to fill their void with. If this is defined as a success, one must have completely discounted the value of diversification to end users. Don’t get me wrong, some of the shady stuff going on had to be squashed. But I think the overwhelming majority of duped small business owners received a solid dose of reality with their penalties and will be a little smarter when outsourcing SEO work in the future. For the others that maintain their unethical ways, there probably is no hope for them as they continue to develop crash and burn websites without regard to anyone’s recommendations.

  • Brad Dalton

    Rubbish. I can show you pages in SERPS which contain the same domain for 8-10 results.

    There’s many that contain the first 3 with the same domain.

    What Google is doing is protecting the big brands and not treating everyone equally.

  • Jack Hutchinson

    Still no change on this for search terms I’m trying to rank for – first 5 results are from one site and next 5 are from another! Diverse results….yeah right!

  • Brian O’Connell

    We are seeing a bit more diversity on the first page for generic keywords, but this has been over the last few months. We are also seeing more authority for exact match for domain names. For keywords that are company names, we still see them dominate the first page, but we do see more diversity, such as press releases, social media accounts, etc. However go 3 pages back and I often see our site dominate all 10 listings on a search page. We have not checked since this recent admission by Google, but I wonder how much of it pertains to first page versus the rest of the results.

  • Ravi Jay // #nycmixing

    Hopefully this will curtail dynamic websites, which show the same contain on multiple webpages.

  • HighOn SEO

    This is both good and bad, I guess. It’s good because when I do a search I don’t want to see the same domain over & over. It’s bad because I have clients who show up 1-6 for their main term. lol

  • Thinh Phan

    The ‘best results’ is relative; it’s the best compared to X. That’s not to say that it is ‘best’ as in there no possibility of improvement.

  • John P
  • Clayburn Griffin

    This is bad news for ORM.

  • Trey Langford

    ANd the games continue

  • Reagen Aguda

    It’s frustrating to see big classified sites dominate SERP with their irrelevant, low-quality contents. Google is making millions here in PH out of these classifieds. No known seo campaigns & tons of duplicate listings – how the hell they managed to get on top of SEPR? Massive ppc, billboards, TVC and radio ads suddenly boost their organic ranking.

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