The chatter about Google’s recent algorithm update might have been apocryphal, but the company finally confirmed that it has indeed made changes meant to allow for more domain results in its SERPs. The changes were initially confirmed when spam fighter Matt Cutts tweeted:
“Just fyi, we rolled out a small algo change this week that improves the diversity of search results in terms of different domains returned.”
From this seemingly simple explanation, a host of question have arisen as to exactly what the algorithm change means for Google users and SEO managers in particular.
What Prompted This Change?
The problem started when users began to notice a “domain concentration” in Google’s search engine results. A search query might return results in which the first five hits were all from the same domain with only slight variations in the URL. This meant far less diversity in Google’s results, and users began to complain that they had to filter “lookalike” results before getting a variety of websites. Search Engine Land wrote about the problem earlier last month.
Google immediately made plans to update its algorithms to account for the clustering of domains.
Has It Worked?
Unfortunately, the algorithm changes do not seem to have taken effect at this point. A Search Engine Land follow-up to the previous article noted that the results today are still showing the same clustering effect.
Of course, this is a one-shot test involving only a single search term. It is possible that as organic search terms comply with the new algorithm set, the results will improve. It is also possible that some searches are not affected because of the relatively small number of websites devoted to the topic.
Besides the algorithms governing domain clustering, there are hundreds of others that drive SERPs. It is very possible that some of these are overriding the results from the new algorithm for a variety of reasons.
Why Does It Matter?
Users have less and less time to spend organizing and tabulating search engine results. Providers like Google pride themselves on giving the very best search results with the least user effort. This is done in large part by the algorithmic structures Google uses which are constantly being updated. If these searches start returning spam-laden or inaccurate results, Google’s credibility as a major search engine goes down. For this reason, it is likely that Google will continue to work on the algorithm updates to ensure that users get the very best experience every time they search and find the most relevant results quickly.
Bulletproof Digital knows that the world of search engines and websites is unfamiliar to many business owners and individuals. This is why we work hard to make sure that your website design and development is optimized and that your web presence is the most professional and user-friendly it can be.