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Google’s Diversity Update Gives Smaller Sites a Chance to Rank

A study on the effect of Google’s diversity update concludes smaller sites have a greater chance to rank for competitive keywords.

Google’s diversity update, rolled out earlier this month, aims to limit the number of times a domain can appear in a single SERP. According to Google, no more than two URLs from the same domain should appear in a single SERP.

Searchmetrics analyzed the SERPs since the diversity update rolled out to discover whether it’s working as promised.

In conducting this study, Searchmetrics compared the results for a set of thousands of keywords from March 2019 with results from June 2019.

Here’s what was discovered:

  • Zero results were found containing more than 3 URLs from one domain.
  • 3.5% of searches contain 3 URLs from one domain, down from 6.7%.
  • 44.2% of searches contain two URLs from the same domain, which is up by less than 1% from before the update.
  • 52.3% of searches return unique domains for all positions.

Google will still return multiple results from the same domain when the name of the domain is included in the query. This shows Google is not sacrificing relevance for the sake of diversity.

The study also found that the diversity update impacts transactional searches to a greater degree than informational searches. As a result, searchers are seeing a wider variety of domains when looking for a product to buy.

This is good news for smaller retailers who now have an opportunity to show up for keywords that were once dominated by giants like Amazon.

When it comes to informational searches, Google is more likely to return up to three URLs from the same domain. For example, searches for recipes will likely contain multiple results from Allrecipes.com.

For more information about the impact of Google’s diversity update, see the full study here.

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.

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