Google Thinks Some Searches Are Worth A Single Domain Of Results

Aug 23, 2010 • 8:18 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Last week I covered the news that Google was letting a single domain dominate the search results for some particular queries. So when you searched for something, sometimes, 80% or more of the search results Google provided would be from the same web site.

I thought this was a bug, I mean - seriously, how is that useful? But I was wrong. According to Google, this is not a bug but rather a feature, a feature they think is useful. I don't see how it is useful to get 80% or more of the search results for a single query from the same domain, no matter what the search query is. But heck, they know search, I just write about it.

Google said:

Today we've launched a change to our ranking algorithm that will make it much easier for users to find a large number of results from a single site. For queries that indicate a strong user interest in a particular domain, like [exhibitions at amnh], we'll now show more results from the relevant site:

Prior to today's change, only two results from would have appeared for this query. Now, we determine that the user is likely interested in the Museum of Natural History's website, so seven results from the domain appear. Since the user is looking for exhibitions at the museum, it's far more likely that they'll find what they're looking for, faster. The last few results for this query are from other sites, preserving some diversity in the results.

As you can imagine, there is a ton of discussion on this topic in the SEO/webmaster forums.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, Google Webmaster Help, HighRanking Forums and DigitalPoint Forums.

Previous story: Google's International Filter Loosened Up?


Michael VanDeMar

08/23/2010 04:14 pm

This has to be a bug that they are just not owning up to. I mean, it's not even consistent. By their explanation, this would be a perfect query to display results like that: [<a href="">google seroundtable</a>] It's not like there would be a lack of suitable pages to populate that serp with, yet for some reason it doesn't meet the criteria to do so? It makes no sense.

Michael Martinez

08/23/2010 05:30 pm

But it IS useful in some queries. When you're not sure of what section of a large Website you need to visit, all those titles and meta descriptions are more informative than sitelinks. I've already found myself taking advantage (as a searcher) of the expanded information fornat.


08/24/2010 04:02 am

So we could have a site damn near take up a whole page, that seems a little extreme even for a "large" website.


08/24/2010 05:39 am

seroundtable does take the majority of the results in the above search


08/24/2010 10:26 am

I have a site with 13 links on the first serps page. I'm #1 and #2.. #1 has site links but #2 has a list of 3 sub links like site links but different.. This has been like this for over a year now.. Yeh I know its not 1-10 but pretty similar.. For me it would make a difference on CTR as it get 98% for that k/w already :)


08/24/2010 10:59 am

Surely that's what the site: operator should be used for? If I want to find something on the Guardian website I'd much rather see a "see more results from this site" than the whole page taken up.

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