Google Showing Multiple Listings From Same Site Too Often?

Jun 12, 2012 • 9:17 am | comments (64) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

google puzzleYesterday, there were many complaints in the forums, on Twitter and even a bunch of people emailed me, specifically around Google showing the same site (same domain name) in the search results for a single query on the first and second page. Basically, if you searched for something, Google would return five or more results on page one for the same domain.

This might not be uncommon, but yesterday and maybe today, Google is may be showing way too many results from the same site. This leaves less diversity in the search results.

I am not sure if I can share the examples given to me, so I made up my own. Search for [suffern crown plaza] and see the number of repeated results:

google same results

Is this a bug or a change in how Google behaves?

This is kind of ironic, because Google's Matt Cutts published (or tweeted) the video question about this for the first time yesterday. Here is that video:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to Big Stock Photo for puzzle

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Comments:

Sunny Ujjawal

06/12/2012 01:30 pm

This problem is with so many keywords of different theme.

Gael Breton

06/12/2012 01:36 pm

This is especially true when you display 100 results instead of 10

CodeAngry

06/12/2012 02:16 pm

This is very disturbing, not only from a SEO point of view but also from a Searcher's perspective. I'm not stupid. I don't need multiple results from the same site. I can use site search for that. They took over serps with ads, not they fill the remaining space with (virtually) duplicate results.

Kevin Gerding

06/12/2012 02:32 pm

Saw another example of lack of diversity at http://tinyurl.com/bmbvybn. This developing trend is worrisome.

Peter Hanley

06/12/2012 02:34 pm

I've noticed this on a number of SERPs that I work in. It looks terrible and I can't imagine it's helping anybody at all (except those running those sites of course!) This seems related to what Dr. Pete posted today on SEOmoz - more specifically his findings on domain diversity flux: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-bigfoot-update-aka-dr-pete-goes-crazy

Dr. Peter J. Meyers

06/12/2012 02:53 pm

I'm seeing a gradual decline in domain diversity in the Top 10 over the past 60 days, with two sharp drop-offs - Penguin (4/24) and 6/4. Google claimed an update code-named "Horde" increased domain diversity sometime in April, but the evidence doesn't support that, at least not as an overall trend.

Sheared Sheep

06/12/2012 03:04 pm

Actually, this has been going on for quite time (at least in my subject area) and it's darn frustrating. I noticed this trend about two years ago and it has become increasingly worse. Another issue? The search results also appear to be based on the ads that Google is showing on the top as well as the side of the page rather than on the terms that the user searches for. It's like they are matching the results based on the paid ads. Generally, it involves the modifiable searches. I wish they (and other search engines) would consider more columns on the page featuring results, but that would impact their ad layout. This would be a fairer approach due to the staggering number of competing websites, particularly as their results have been very poor since the Panda seizure. In order to find what one is searching for, at times it requires scrolling several pages through the search results. If they didn't control a vast amount of the search results, this wouldn't be such an impacting issue. Not to be totally negative, I'll add that the Google maps are absolutely awesome and quite useful.

gabs

06/12/2012 03:13 pm

I'm seeing the diversity from that update. Before the update I had the top4 results for main keywords all pointing to the same domain. 1st and 2nd results both had site links, 3rd and 4th result where sub domains. After the update i've only got top results with sitelinks and it's still the same now.

daveyboy

06/12/2012 03:39 pm

Worst results I've ever seen since using a search engine back in 1998. Check this out... page 3 search (every single result the same): http://www.google.ca/#q=rims+edmonton&hl=en&prmd=imvns&ei=aGHXT-CJBIaA2wWl3sSPDw&start=20&sa=N&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=d606552ac1a01981&biw=1317&bih=893

Scott McKirahan

06/12/2012 04:03 pm

I pointed this out yesterday to Dave at Store Coach, offering several examples and yes, it is far worse now than it was even after the Penguin algo change (and we thought that one was bad). This is the number one complaint I hear from actual users of search engines; that is, too many results from the same company. This seems like the easiest problem in the world to solve and for some reason, it's one that Google, especially, seems to ignore. Seriously, if you believe your search engine is that good at returning relevant results, pick one page from a domain and move on!

Sheared Sheep

06/12/2012 04:39 pm

Wowsers! It's almost like Google is spamming Google......

Claude "CodeAngry" Adrian

06/12/2012 05:29 pm

"Horde" probably means a horde of links from the same domain in SERPs :)

Russ Offord

06/12/2012 05:46 pm

With Google knocking out so many legitimate websites with their most recent updates (Penguin 1.0/1.1 + the latest Panda refreshes)... there is not much left in some niches to show... so they are forced to show 5 or 10 pages from the same website just to 'fill the space' up in the SERPS. ;)

Gregory Smith

06/12/2012 06:59 pm

Google is always up to no good huh ;)

Chris Beasley

06/12/2012 07:19 pm

I have a newer site that has 5 such listings on page 1, not merely a listing on page 1, then page 2. It is 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 on page 1. All very standard white hat things to get there, ultimately it is from being a first mover in a niche with little competition yet. I do expect the competition to pick up. I have another site, over 10 years old, reasonably competitive niche. Right now it is 1 and 2, but in the recent past it has been 1, 2, 3, and 4, with #1 having up to 8 sitelinks. Again, all standard white hat things, the dominance it displays is a result of age. It has been #1 for over a decade, your weight snowballs into something pretty substantial in 10 years of being #1. Ultimately this is caused by a single site or domain have multiple pages that out rank other sites for the target keywords, and I think that Google does have higher thresholds for the second (or third or fourth or fifth) listing, but supposing their algorithm is telling it another page on a site is deserving to rank well, should they ignore it?

Paul naybour

06/12/2012 09:29 pm

I noticed our site appears several times on page one and two, nice for us but quite strange.

Peter Watson

06/12/2012 11:29 pm

I noticed this a couple of weeks ago. I am seeing some results in my niche 'business for sale', where the first 5 results are from 1 site and the second 5 results are from another. Not a nice experience for users.

Peter Watson

06/13/2012 01:24 am

Check out http://www.google.com.au/search?rlz=1C1GGGE_enAU404AU404&sugexp=chrome,mod=15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=house+swapping+australia Not very user friendly! Come on Google, please fix these search results! This is crazy!

potpiegirl

06/13/2012 01:33 am

I was innocently checking Google for some advice on what types of flowers to put on my new screen porch today when I came across this first page of results: https://twitter.com/potpiegirl/status/212718529789693953/photo/1 FOUR of the ten first page results are from eHow..... ugh!

SEO-HOP

06/13/2012 01:43 am

Lol when i searched google your same listing was on the first and second page

Alan

06/13/2012 06:40 am

OMG how bad is that!

Alan

06/13/2012 06:44 am

Another shot at SEO's if you ask me. The worse the results are the more likely the clients of SEO professionals will head over to adwords. How does Matt keep a straight face when sayig that this is a good option.

stefan

06/13/2012 07:49 am

I need to say a company that try to make every page perfect for google and not only one page ranking get the reward now , but I agree a bit over the top and listing is not how I would like to see it as person looking for some think with google

Alex

06/13/2012 09:15 am

Here in the UK I often see the BBC have at least 3 results out of the first 4 to 10. It's quite annoying, especially when it's pushing my own sites down... ;)

Sourabh Rana

06/13/2012 11:41 am

This is not a new thing for Google. Only We are talking today in search engine roundtable. Thanks to Barry Schwartz to raise this issue so Google see this BLUNDER. Best Regards Sourabh Rana

DoktorWeb

06/13/2012 12:30 pm

It`s not a bug, it`s strategy to press companies (which lost traffic due to this measure) into adwords. very simple.

James Brew

06/13/2012 02:38 pm

Here's one domain taking the top three results - Two of them are identical??? http://www.google.ie/#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=roller+blinds&oq=roller+blinds&aq=f&aqi=g4&aql=&gs_l=hp.3..0l4.125.2448.0.2719.13.13.0.0.0.0.978.6502.6-7.7.0...0.0.-UB3rFffCdw&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=4bead74608c2d868&biw=1440&bih=781

Krystian Szastok

06/13/2012 03:39 pm

this really sucks, so many results I see just spammed by the same site, so easy to trick too, just create mutliple pages on the content, link building, social signal it and bang, you got 4-5 results on the second page, 2 on the first, 33% coverage (7 results out of 20), instead of the usual 5% (1 listing in the first two pages of serps).

Casey Markee

06/13/2012 06:09 pm

A great example of this in action is the query "hawaii activities." If you are www.hawaiiactivities.com you are LOVING Google right now. They dominate the first three pages. Unfortunately, there a ton of just as high-quality sites being pushed down to Page 3 and 4 when they were solidly in the Top 20 last week. Those that argue that this "promotes" a positive user experience are just CRAZY! I'm all for "link diversity." This isn't it.

Win2Win

06/14/2012 11:59 am

Searching for "mortgages in rhyl" with Google UK gave the first 10 results all the same page!!! ..... which continued onto page 2.... DUH!!!! What's that all about then? Pathetic.

Rohanshar

06/14/2012 06:26 pm

This is still happening. Search for "rate a employee". Five results are glass door.

Host Surf UK

06/17/2012 07:18 pm

I have noticed this happening now for the past couple of weeks.

Jason Mailley

06/19/2012 11:15 pm

Google will drastically loose market shares if it doesn't fix this soon ! This is widespread and looks more like a bug on Google behalf than a legitimate update.

Mike Pannell

06/20/2012 07:17 pm

Same thing here and goes to page 3.. Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Homes.com http://www.google.com/search?q=san+antonio+homes+for+sale&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#q=san+antonio+homes+for+sale&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=DFm&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&ei=XyHiT9u1C6eQ2QW0zZGcCw&start=10&sa=N&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=c1e99b5acbebabce&biw=1600&bih=700

Kerry Dye

06/21/2012 11:26 am

I can't believe that this is still occuring after this amount of time has passed - it is clearly not in the interests of the searcher. The worst example I have seen has got the same site appearing 11 times on the first three pages.

Starlit Citadel

06/26/2012 06:35 pm

We are getting hammered too with this problem for board games canada. First 4 results are all the same - the site with the same name. Jeez...

Preeti Mittal

07/20/2012 10:08 am

It is still going on. I came across around 5-6 pages filled up with results from 1 single site. This is making organic results worst. Any idea till when it will be sorted out?

radarseller

07/21/2012 09:27 am

check "spybubble" in google.fr you will see a domain that takes 38 of first 50 results...ridiculous

John

07/26/2012 12:23 pm

Google and Matt gone mad... :) This is the worst exp. I had with the search results... I tell you the truth Google is playing Monopoly where Small Advertisers are now bound to pay money for PPC. Big websites are already famous and google is also making money with them by Adsense or so... But it is also true we don't have any other option Bing and Yahoo also very Bad... We should wait for better search engine from Facebook.... :)

Phil

07/27/2012 04:14 am

I spoke to Google UK last week and was told " if the minority of websites loose out or go under because of it, so be it. Its for the benefit of the majoirty" It has taken the opertunity for small business owners to get top 20 listings other than paying for Google Ads.(that was googles goal) The minority can be 49%. I say they are so far up themselves and need to be brought down a peg or 2

Tate

07/28/2012 11:36 pm

I'm seeing this in our market too and of course in many other searches. In my opinion Google has really destroyed what used to be a pretty darn good search engine. I've been using Bing more and more of late. No I don't want to see youtube videos in the top 10 results and I don't want to see products with slight variations from the same site taking up many listings. Reverse this update and start displaying a diverse group of authority sites again!

Rick Costel

07/30/2012 04:38 pm

WHERE IS THE OPTION TO CHANGE IT BACK?!?!?!?!

kp

07/31/2012 05:52 pm

I'm not getting the same results. They may have fixed it. Regardless, I can see why Google is losing market share to Bing - the results are getting worse - not better.

Cijaye DePradine

08/02/2012 04:52 am

I have to agree with all of you this really is a disaster. A client of mine who was a leader in a very tight niche industry is now being pushed further and further down the ranks because Google is CLEARLY favoring or hording links for approx. 3 of her competitors. (They dominate the top 10 listings almost exclusively!). This client is so frustrated with this she is wondering if I did something wrong and begging me to fix it - yet I cannot. It's costing her a lot of lost revenues and will soon cost me the client if she leaves me entirely which she has already threatened to do. Makes me furious, sad and downright confused all at the same time. Another client has two of her own listings showing up on the page 1 but one of those pages out converts the other by leaps and bounds and if people continue to see and click on the secondary page "instead" she doesn't get as many sales PERIOD. She would prefer to ONLY have the one listing - yet has no control over this other than to run some split tests on that secondary page and try to make it better. This should be unnecessary. Overall it's a complete disaster. I used to love helping my clients do things by the books and get great long term results from it - but as far as I can tell here the books are going up in flames before our eyes. And theres a new fire every day. I just don't get it. So sad.

Rick Costel

08/04/2012 05:09 pm

They used to be collapsed and you'd have to click a link to get more results from the same domain... At least give us the option to turn it off.

zen

08/06/2012 10:50 am

I had expected Google to fix this fairly rapidly - disappointing that they haven't, and suggests that they aren't going to do anything about it. My search results are consistently rubbish now - I routinely search for 100 results, but have to scan way down the list to get any diversity. Before this change, using Google was a no-brainer - now I'm looking for an alternative. Bad move by Google - first step in retaining customers is to ensure they don't even think of leaving. I'm also routinely blocking sites that clog up the top results - if enough people do that, some legit sites will eventually be flagged as spam/junk.

paradelia

08/07/2012 08:10 pm

I have a temporary fix for this! Here is a search I did and these were my results: https://www.google.com/search?q=background+css+overflow+white&sugexp=chrome,mod=1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 As you can see, all my results are from stackoverflow.com. Now here are my results when I use "-stackoverflow.com" in the search (meaning, I used the minus symbol before the website address): https://www.google.com/search?q=background+css+overflow+white&sugexp=chrome,mod=1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&sclient=psy-ab&q=background+css+overflow+white+-stackoverflow.com&oq=background+css+overflow+white+-stackoverflow.com&gs_l=serp.12...0.0.3.137148.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0...0.0...1c.qXt5WzeNOUg&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=3caf70095441cb5a&biw=1163&bih=595 Everything from that site is now gone, and my search has better diversity!

Ira

08/08/2012 02:47 am

I would argue that it would look bad as well for companies who are listed several times; it looks like they are spammers instead of legitimate business entities.

Lord of SEO

08/08/2012 04:40 am

why invite him to seo conferences in the first place...

Lord of SEO

08/13/2012 09:30 pm

Only one result here https://www.google.com/search?q=foods+that+fight+indigestion&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=imvns&ei=7W8pUPD_FvO60QGvh4CIDA&start=40&sa=N&biw=1360&bih=667

csr x

08/23/2012 01:20 am

so this crap has been going on for months now?!? When is this crap going to be fixed?? Can't find anything I want on Google.. all i get is 5 pages containing multiple listings from the same few sites. And most of those are commercial sites: Bestbuy, walmart, buy.com, etc.. less than USELESS, .. and soon, I'll be saying the same about Google.

Sasha@librtee

08/31/2012 08:31 am

Damn dude, you're getting screwed! WTF!

Miki

09/01/2012 12:00 pm

This is sooo anoying. I thought there was something wrong with my Google sign in or that I can change search settings, but NO. GOOGLE! If I click on the first link of some website I'll try to look the other content of that site on their site, or if I want to search that site I'll use their search facility or Googles "site" command. I DO NOT want to see more than two search results from the same site on the same page. Soooo annoying... So much so that I'm considering changing my beloved search engine :-(

opan

10/11/2012 06:03 pm

Have you asked some other people then a SEO in our neightborhood if they have the same expiriences? in my eyes this hits just SEO´s. After a time i spend on another Computer and i typed in the same search in a second one and the result pages looks good and fine.

Lola

11/11/2012 03:24 pm

Switch search engine, there are others not doing this, I just did. See how that works out for google.

Herve

11/13/2012 09:46 pm

Solution (saddens me but the only i could find): 1/ switch to mozilla 2/ install greasemonkey https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/ 3/ install the "hide multiple results from google" script http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/141480 enjoy the use of google again!

maxagogo

03/08/2013 05:04 pm

reminds me to altavista from 10 years go, even then altavista was more relevant than google 10 years later, something smells fishy

hans

03/10/2013 03:55 pm

stille much "double" results in The Netherlands. When Google gonna fix this? Time for a new search engine!

Max

03/19/2013 02:25 pm

This is taking horrendous proportions - last time I got pages and pages and pages and pages of results from the same 5 sites. After excluding those explicitly, 3 other ones filled literally hundreds of results. The script you mention helps a lot - but unfortunately it only hides CONSECUTIVE multiples, which the actual multiple results certainly aren't. The following mod should make sure any site can appear on a page only ONCE - but please note that the rest of the results are removed, not hidden: http://pastebin.com/ypmrEUPv. With this, the first page of 100 results should be all one ever needs - because, unfortunately, the next page of 100 result will be from the exact same 15 sites you were left with from the first 100. Then so on with the third, fourth, fifth page - sadly there isn't really any point of checking those at all. Way to go, Google! Swell job, really...

DayleLucy101

08/11/2013 01:44 pm

HAVE YOU NOTICED IN THE SEARCH ADDRESS IT SAYS PSY?! UM...OPPA GANGNAM STYLE!

John

08/14/2013 05:39 pm

Matt Cutts is a lying asshole and a google tool

dbher

12/05/2013 03:42 am

This is still happening. I see big businesses taking up to 6 listings on the first page like Amazon, ebay, Avon etc

Cupom de Desconto

04/20/2014 12:35 pm

I saw that several times already

Gaurav Srivastava

06/05/2014 09:41 am

huh..Google bot is not able to decide which one is best suitable for user..lol

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