How Google’s algorithm tweak puts new pressure on marketers

By limiting relevant pages to two per domain in many searches, the company is challenging communicators to get even more creative with content. Here’s what you must know.

With its latest move to improve the consumer experience, Google might be fettering online marketers.

The search engine behemoth will now show only the two most relevant pages from a domain before offering pages from another site. The algorithm update is likely to change how certain domains dominate search results, forcing communicators to get creative to elevate their content.

The move could be good news for websites that have struggled to compete with SEO goliaths like Yelp, which have years of built-up domain authority. It could also reduce the importance of aligning your organization with some SEO-dominant sites.

Search Engine Land reported:

Searchers, along with SEOs, have complained over the years that sometimes Google shows too many listings for the top search results from the same domain name. So if you do a search for a particular query, you may see 4 or 5 of the top ten results from the same domain name. Google is looking to not show more than two results from the same domain with this search update.

Google said “A new change now launching in Google Search is designed to provide more site diversity in our results.” Google added, “This site diversity change means that you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results.”

Google made the announcement on Twitter:

Many users quickly tested the new feature, with mixed results.

Google’s public liaison for search, Danny Sullivan, conceded that the update would be an ongoing process.

He also pointed out that the update would affect only main listings, so getting featured in products like “Snippets” still offers value for communicators and their organizations.

Marketers and PR pros seeing a change in web traffic should note that this update is distinct from that of June 3.

Search Engine Land reported:

Google clarified that this search update is unrelated to the June 2019 core update that began rolling out Monday. “Finally, the site diversity launch is separate from the June 2019 Core Update that began this week. These are two different, unconnected releases,” Google said.

But it started rolling out two days ago and is fully live today Sullivan told us. “It started a little bit about two days ago but went fully live today,” he said.

So technically, your analytics and Search Console data can be impacted by both the June 2019 core update and this domain diversity update. How do you know which one impacted you?

However, Danny Sullivan thinks they are far enough apart that we should be able to distinguish between the two updates.

Not every search will be affected, Google advises.

Search Engine journal wrote:

The diversity change does not affect all search results. Some search results will continue to show more than one result if Google decides it’s relevant.

In my opinion, depending on the context, when Google says “relevant,” it can be helpful to understand that word in the context of the user. SEOs commonly think in terms of a web page being relevant to a search phrase.

But many times it makes more sense to think about relevance in terms of how the web page is relevant to the user who is typing the search phrase.

When put into that context, Google’s use of the word “relevant” makes more sense because if users expectations are such that they are satisfied with more than one page from a single site, then it makes sense for Google to continue showing more than one page from that site.

That means a direct search of your brand name will still return multiple pages from your domain. However, a generic, untrademarked product name might surface fewer results.

What can you do if you are seeing adverse effects? Google’s clearest advice is to make your website better.

Search Engine Land wrote:

Google has previously shared this advice around broad core algorithm updates:

“Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year.

As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.

There’s no ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”

How would you respond to this change, PR Daily readers?

COMMENT

PR Daily News Feed

Sign up to receive the latest articles from PR Daily directly in your inbox.