Google Diversity Update Actually Work?

Sep 17, 2012 • 8:34 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

google puzzleOn Friday, I thought there was a Panda update and apparently I was wrong. Well, I wasn't 100% wrong, there was an update for diversification of the search results.

Google's Matt Cutts said on Twitter Google released an update that "improves the diversity of search results in terms of different domains returned."

Did they really? Search for [bobs furniture in Google and check out how there is one listing for, then the Google Places and the rest of the 9 results are from Is that diverse? And I see this on tons and tons of examples. I have for months and months!

really diverse?

So was this really an update on diversifying the search results or am I crazy?

Note: This story was scheduled to be posted on this day, but was written earlier.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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09/17/2012 12:52 pm

Barry, Matt Cutts said it improved quality and it did. According to Danny Sullivn, since Matt Cutts is rich he doesn't lie or try to fool people. Only poor people lie and cheat according to Danny. You should keep deleting posts offending Google and especially those that tie Google's earnings increase with "search improvements."


09/17/2012 12:54 pm

Matt Cutts probably forgot to mention that this applies only to

Vermont Design Works

09/17/2012 01:50 pm

Not sure this is such a big deal... and is actually another example of *smarter* Google SERs. You're getting a lot of localized results in your organics. Notice how those Yelp listings are in NY/NJ? When I search, by default Google always thinks we're in MA, so most of the Yelp results were for MA locations. When I changed to our correct location, the results were mixed (NY and MA), but also included a Wikipedia page, YouTube video and a Google+ page for Bob's Furniture & Bedding in Middlebury, VT.

Ismael Verón

09/17/2012 02:16 pm

At least for spanish search, nothing has changed > Check this search results, the 4 top results, not only the same domain, but almost pages with identical content

Naveen Patel

09/17/2012 02:47 pm

You should Google Adwords if one brand that already advertises has many listings in the top ten. This way you can get some clicks, and you make Google happy. Google wants to serve the best results for the users, they do not care about increasing clicks on ads.

Chris Horton

09/17/2012 03:20 pm

Don't necessarily think your crazy, because in this instance, these all appear to be different locations, but all named Bob's Discount Furniture. Searching for "Bob's Furniture" is very specific because you've asked for a place with a specific name. The changes that he's suggesting are in scenario's where you seach for a term such as "Atlanta Hyundai dealer" and the same location shows up multiple times in the same SERP, but one for the home page, one for the about page, one for inventory page, etc. I see that happen all of the time and from a competitive standpoint, it's a drag (unless those are your listings). But to your point, I haven't seen this hit full stream yet, but there always seems to be a slight delay until it propagates across all servers. Waiting....


09/17/2012 03:59 pm

Flip to showing 100 results via search settings in the cog on the top right and you'll see far less diversity. Crazy how many results show up from the same domain -

Fredrik Eriksson

09/17/2012 04:32 pm

I thought he only said that when it wasn't true :)

Casey Markee

09/17/2012 06:06 pm

Definitely "some" improvement here. Good example is the query "Hawaii activities." Pre-update, the site dominated the first 20 results of Google with no fewer than 8 results. Now, the same site holds the first "two" results then are represented again on Page 2 at #17. I see 3 new competitors have been pulled up into the Top 20 because of the change. Hello diversity!

Kevin Gerding

09/17/2012 06:33 pm

It's amazing how thin Google's SERPS have become since they swung the hatchet with Panda and Penguin. It seems if Google is trying to fill the void with *something* and that *something* is resulting in a lack of diversification and poor user experience. I've seen many examples of domain crowding even after this update. The SERPS are absolutely horrible in my opinion. How long did JCPenney's penalties last? 90 days? It seems far to banish small mom and pop websites that were duped by shady SEOs for twice as long or longer right? These types of problems will exist now and into the future as the share of search market is so disproportionately slanted to one company.


09/17/2012 07:22 pm

Google pretends to fail displaying worthless SERPs driving revenue to adwords by mistake. Priceless. Truth be told, the display of how many urls to show from one domain is a setting, it has nothing to do with the algorithm but since the lie will be repeated a multitude of times because parroting Matt Cutts is default behavior most will believe the googly "truth".


09/17/2012 07:27 pm

That something is ADS, lots of ads. Barry avoids it like the plague, but Google's earnings are going through the roof

Bob Gladstein

09/17/2012 07:47 pm

I'm seeing a lot of improvement, actually. I work mostly in the job postings space, and it was pretty common for a search on a job title and city to return 3 or 4 (sometimes even 5) results from an aggregator site like Indeed on the first SERP. Now, for a search like [boston restaurant management jobs] I'm actually seeing 10 different domains returned. For [san francisco accounting jobs] I still get 3 Indeed results, but at least they're pushed down to positions 6-8.

William Bakhos

09/17/2012 11:06 pm

I'm thinking that Google believes that bobs furniture is a brand so is giving the most relevant results. Try furniture New jersey for a better example? I've noticed a lot of my clients have lost an organic listing when they are ranked well in Places/local... Previously they had 2 positions on the front page...


09/18/2012 01:46 am

My favorite search at the moment is "European road maps" brings up pizza places in the USA??? I am trying to plan a European holiday and I have to use Bing! Not that that is a bad thing. It has opened my eyes quite a bit. In terms of mapping and map searches Bing actually does a better job. However having said that Goolge will be happy at least their results are DIVERSE!


09/18/2012 04:09 am

Websites are resorting to paid ads on Google just to stay visible - too many of them have a difficult time keeping up with algorithm updates. The amount of money they spend on SEO would be the same they spend on paid ads, except that their visibility is guaranteed with the latter.


09/18/2012 04:46 am

Since Google released Panda and Penguin, SERPs are crazy, a complete mess with no sense. I wonder if Matt Cutts isn't aware of how frustating it is to see more than "1", website repeated on SERPs. They make Google and their SERPs look retarded.


09/18/2012 12:39 pm

i think google just decreasing the ability of organic so that automatically it will increase the ability of paid links............according to me matt cutts should be chief of AdWords not web master.....

Webstats Art

09/18/2012 06:18 pm

I love it when people tell the truth about google. You won't find it on Danny Sullivan's blog because he is afraid of Google. Long live Barry S. who dares to break out from the mould and invite the underdogs who were once overlords in Google. Underdogs gathering together become a movement that will eventually reach top dog status if there are enough of them.


09/18/2012 06:26 pm

when government will define rules for search engines? I am really get tired from constant G updates.


09/18/2012 06:28 pm

google allow only old big brand sites to spam their index with new pages. Like ehow, livestrong, ezinearticles, etc. It really contentfarms, but google not cares now.


09/19/2012 06:07 am

Barry deletes all bad comments about Danny, his friend, partner, soulmate or whatever. Just called Danny a Google shill and Barry deleted it.

Barry Schwartz

09/19/2012 09:37 am

You are so smart.


09/19/2012 09:38 am

He will only delete abusive ones as much as I am thinking Danny is to close to Matt. There is no need for swearing and abuse.


09/19/2012 12:17 pm

then stop using it - is not like it's a default and you are not able to change it. You don't like the show - change the channel !

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