Google announced last night, as I covered in detail at Search Engine Land, that they released another update earlier this week that finished rolling out yesterday. This update restricts how many times a search results listing can show in the Google search results for most queries.
In short – Google said for most queries, they will begin only showing up to two listings per domain in the top search results. This does not meant Google will only show two listings from that domain for all search results pages but rather for queries they think is makes sense to show more diversity from different domains for a query. Branded queries may show more than two, and you get the point.
Google Site Diversity in Search
Here is where Google said they have launched this update:
Two Results Max For Most Queries
Google said they generally won’t show more than two results from the same domain in the top Google search results. Google may still show more than two results if they determine a searcher would benefit from it and it is relevant for the query.
Subdomains & Root Domains Are The Same
For the most part, Google will treat subdomains as part of the main root domain. So blog.domain.com would count towards domain.com being listed in the top search results. Of course, there are examples when Google won’t consider them to be part of the same domain, like some hosting platforms will use subdomains to host unique sites – and Google will consider those separate.
Different From June 2019 Core Update
Google said this is different and unrelated to the June 2019 core update that launched on June 3rd and was big for some sites.
Diversity Update Started On June 4th Also
Danny Sullivan said this update started rolling out two days ago and finished yesterday, so technically it overlapped with the June 2019 core update rollout. We don’t know if the June core update is done rolling out but the diversity update is and of course, this can be confusing for SEOs to properly track.
Specifically, Danny said it was at 10% of the search results on June 4th and on June 6th it was at 100%:
He thinks this shouldn’t confuse SEOs:
Only Impacts Core Web Results
So this only impacts the ten blue listings, the core web results. It does not stop you from showing more than twice because of featured snippets, local listings, images, and other search features according to Danny Sullivan:
Domain Based, Not Content Based
This is strictly related to domains and doesn’t look to see if the content is the same across different domain names. This is not a duplicate content thing…
It Is Not Perfect
Google said this is not perfect and Google will make updates to it over time:
Google Has Done This Before
Google has updated their domain diversity filters or weights many many times before. We covered it before but Google has done this update countless times – most of the time not telling us.
And Gary Illyes weighs in:
So there you have it – that is everything we know about this specific update – which you do or don’t have to call an “update” if you don’t want it. Call it a “change” or “feature” or whatever you want.
Forum discussion at Twitter.