Fewer Duplicate Root Domains in Most Search Listings
Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan has announced that Google implemented a “change” to reduce duplicate site listings in search results to show a more diverse selection of websites.
If you’ve ever been frustrated seeing a single site dominate several prime rankings on a single page, it seems as though this change is designed to address that.
Sullivan’s tweet thread announcing the change mentions that this change will, in most cases, limit things so that users won’t see more than 2 listings from the same website in Google’s top results:
Have you ever done a search and gotten many listings all from the same site in the top results? We've heard your feedback about this and wanting more variety. A new change now launching in Google Search is designed to provide more site diversity in our results….
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 6, 2019
He also provided a few technical details, including that subdomains will generally be treated as part of a root domain. However, Google will also treat subdomains as “separate sites for diversity purposes when deemed relevant to do so.”
The key term here is “relevant.” Understanding this term in the context of the user is vital to understanding how Google assesses relevancy; it’s easy to focus on how a page relates to a keyword thus lose sight of its role in overall user experience.
This site diversity change began on June 3, 2019. Sullivan stressed that this change isn’t an update and thus isn’t part of the June 2019 Core Update, and does not affect how Google ranks websites.