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Google's Site Diversity Update

Have you ever done a Google search and seen multiple top results from the same website? For example, if you search for “pure green coffee bean extract,” there are two results from Walmart and two results from Amazon on the first page of search engine results. These are known as duplicate listings, and for many people, they are less helpful than seeing more results from different websites.

In order to address this issue, Google rolled out a site diversity update on June 6, 2019. The site diversity update came shortly after the June 2019 Google Core Update, which updated the algorithm used to determine how websites are ranked in Google search engine results. The goal of the site diversity update is to reduce duplicate listings and show users more unique results for their search queries.

Moz, one of the biggest players in SEO (search engine optimization), assessed how effective the site diversity update was. They found that the average diversity of a 10-result SERP (search engine results page) increased from 90.23 percent on June 6 to 90.72 percent on June 7. A page with 90 percent diversity means that 9 of the 10 results are unique, with one duplicate. That means the average diversity of a page increased by just 0.49 percent after the site diversity update.

Does that mean that the Google site diversity update did not work? Not necessarily. Moz also evaluated the change in diversity of SERPs with 80 percent diversity, meaning these pages had 8 of 10 unique results. On June 6, 84.58 percent of websites analyzed had a diversity of 80 percent or better. On June 7, that percentage increased to 86.68 percent, which is a 2.1 percent improvement. This is a more substantial improvement.

After evaluating the data, Moz concluded that SERPS with three to five results from a single website (two to four duplicates) decreased slightly. However, most of these SERPs still had two results from the same website (one duplicate).

Google did note that duplicate listings may still occur after the site diversity update. Google’s statement said, “This site diversity change means that you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results. However, we may still show more than two in cases where our systems determine it’s especially relevant to do so for a particular search.” Duplicate results still appear most frequently when a search is very brand focused. For example, a search for “Costco hours” will still bring up multiple results from Costco’s website.

So, what does this mean for your website? If your website previously held multiple positions on a SERP for certain search terms, this may be reduced to just one or two listings on that SERP. However, if a competitor of yours previously dominated a SERP with duplicate listings, those duplicates may decrease, leaving space for your website to feature in the results.

Ultimately, the Google site diversity update was not as dramatic as expected by the SEO community, and you likely have nothing to worry about in terms of how this update will affect your website’s performance in search engine results. If you would like more information about this Google update and how you can improve your website’s visibility online, we encourage you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.

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