The Google Domain Diversity Change is a new search results policy announced by Google on June 6 that restricts brand domains from showing more than twice within top Google search results.
Previously, some Google queries delivered a long list of results coming from the same domain. The Google Domain Diversity Change solves for this issue and is intended to enhance the user experience by providing a broader selection of search results.
When “relevant” for a particular search, Google results will continue to show multiple listings from an individual domain. Search intent and user experience are expected to drive this decision making.
No. The Google Domain Diversity Change is being applied only to core results. Non-core search features, including top stories, video snippets and carousels, are not part of the Google Domain Diversity Change.
No. The Google Domain Diversity Change did not include an update to the Google ranking algorithm.
No. Google has stated they will consider subdomains to be part of the root domain, which means only two listings from a domain and all its subdomains should show within top Google search results. However, when “relevant,” subdomains will be considered separate from the primary domain.
According to Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Search Liaison, high-ranking search results should remain high ranking, even with the Google Domain Diversity Change in effect. However, a domain that had multiple search results appearing on the first page for an individual query will likely see fewer owned results than in the past.
It started a little bit about two days ago but went fully live today. Personally, I wouldn’t think of it like an update, however. It’s not really about ranking. Things that ranked highly before still should. We just don’t show as many other pages.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) June 6, 2019
No. Google’s June 2019 Core Search Algorithm Update, announced in early June and completed during the same time frame as the Google Domain Diversity Change, was a completely separate incident. According to Sullivan, the June 2019 update was “nothing special,” but some sites will feel impacts. As always, Google recommends strong content as the best way to have pages rank well in the long term.
With domains showing only twice in top Google search results, websites that benefitted from dominating the first page of Google results may experience some pain. Although click share drops dramatically after the first two listings, click share has been estimated at 10% for the third position on the search engine results page (SERP) and 2% for each spot through 10. Using those measurements, getting bumped from spots three through 10 could result in a click share loss of 24%.
Brands losing click share will need to look for alternative ways to gain placement in top search results. Directories, listings and third-tier search engines should be considered. For branded searches, sites like bbb.org can deliver top search results placement. For non-branded searches, review websites should be part of the SEO strategy.
As always, when it comes to SEO and all marketing, the user journey must be kept at the forefront of all decisions. Place your brand where your target audience already is, and make sure you provide value every step of the way.
Digital Media Solutions (DMS) offers comprehensive customer acquisition solutions that incorporate emerging media and state-of-the-art technology to produce targeted, performance-based, cost-effective campaigns that support acquisition and retention needs. If the Google Domain Diversity Change impacted your marketing results, DMS can help you bring balance to your marketing performance with scalable, repeatable and sustainable strategies that deliver ongoing results.