In the wake of Google’s announcement about the numerous updates coming to their search results, one in particular sticks out. Google Search Liaison announced a change that will reduce multiple site listings in search results. This change, in simple terms, means that no more than two pages from the same site will show within the results for any given query. It is important to note that this is a change to how Google will show web pages in search results, but not a change to how Google ranks websites.
Here are a few key takeaways from this announcement:
- Google has explicitly stated that this is “not an update, just a change.” While this can be taken semantically, the search engine wants to make it known that this is not an update to the algorithm specifically, but rather a change to the search results layout.
- Subdomains will be treated as if they are part of the root domain. Any subsite that falls under a top-level domain will count as one of the two pages within the results.
- To quote Google Search Liaison: “This site diversity change means that you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results. However, we may still show more than two in cases where our systems determine it’s especially relevant to do so for a particular search.”
What does this mean for marketers and publishers? Content requires further attention to detail on a page-by-page basis. When creating content for each individual page, we as marketers need to consider this new update and ensure the page targets a handful of specific search queries or keywords. Ensuring a page targets a single topic will prevent cannibalization in that only a single page will rank for a single set of keywords, rather than top-level category pages outranking longer-form content.