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My site has two places in the top 10 - 5 and 6

 9:17 am on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has anyone else experienced this? I ahve a website that for one of its main key terms, has two pages in the top 10.... but down at positions 5 and 6. I'd much rather have a single placement at position 1 of course.

Anyone else experienced this?

Possible causes?



 2:18 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Possible causes?

Ummm... google is messed up?



 2:36 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't understand why there's a question. Hasn't ranking in two positions next to each other been a common experience for many years? The "cause" is that you don't have enough ranking factors in place (of some kind anyway) to rank any higher.

Robert Charlton

 3:43 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Possible causes?

Ummm... google is messed up?

NO! The consecutive display of up to two places from the same host (subdomain) in Google has long been a completely expected and normal behavior. If you achieved two ranking positions on a given serps page, Google has traditionally moved the second result up to immediately follow the first. They've called this effect "host crowding", and it's less technically been called "clustering".

The specifics of this "clustering" effect depend on how many results per serps page you display. If you show 10 results per page, and the first ranked at #5, then a second result from the same domain, if it were as high as #10, would move up to the #6 position... just as described here.

A second result that was #11, though, wouldn't (in this case) be moved up to #6. If you displayed more than ten results per page, though, say 20, a #11 result would move up to #6. If the second result were #97 and you were displaying 100 results per page, then the second result would also be moved up to #6.

The second result has generally been indented. The two results, with the second result indented, are quite eye-catching, and I've considered them desirable results and purposely target them when I can. We've discussed the effect here numerous times. Here's a thread that popped up when I checked via site search...

Any traffic increase with regular and indented result?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3813186.htm [webmasterworld.com]

For a number of reasons, and in a number of ways, this effect has been modified over the years, but the two results is still quite normal for many results. Google has played with indent vs no indent, eg. Sitelinks of various kinds are not exactly the same thing, though other types of multiple results have been modifications of host crowding.

Most recently, Google has made a radical departure from the two-page limit of host crowding, and in some niches might be displaying a great many pages from a site for a given query. This effect is attributed to what is loosely being described as "brand authority". This is what's being discussed in the thread that Planet 13 references....

Host Crowding vs Brand Authority
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4464096.htm [webmasterworld.com]

I also suggest viewing the Matt Cutts video mentioned in that discussion...

How does Google decide when to display multiple results from the same website?
Matt Cutts - June 11, 2012
trt 5:40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGpEdyIcZcU [youtube.com]


 5:34 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

What's so strange about this? After the page in 4th place one of your pages is placed right below it in the ranking scale, the next one happened to be one of your pages too... It's possible that the 6th one itself is worth to be shown in 7th..10th places, but to make the SERPs look more tidy they are displayed together.

Since you have two different pages that are related to the term and don't contain duplicate content, they are treated as separate pages the user might be interested in.

There are hundreds of keyphrases for which my websites show in more than one position. For one keyphrase though it dominates first four SER pages... G might be messed up with that one, other than that it's natural.


 5:36 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes yes, but it makes no sense.

The search is about "Blue widgets"
The top 5 results are home pages from sites about "wdigets"
My site, is deemed the 5th best page about "blue widgets"
ALl the sites have specific pages about "blue widgets"
My sites blue widgest page, is considered the 6th best page about "blue widgets"

The next best of the other 4 sites pages ranks on page 3 for blue widgets.

How, is this reasonable?


 5:55 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing as many as 20 pages from one site ranking in the top 30 on some terms. For instance, if someone wants to learn about [one particular financial topic] they will find 17 pages in the top 30 from one site, starting on page 2. It's very discouraging.

[edited by: tedster at 6:17 pm (utc) on Jun 24, 2012]
[edit reason] please, no specific keywords [/edit]


 6:11 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

How, is this reasonable?

What are you expecting to see that would be more reasonable, that would make more sense?

17 pages in the top 30 from one site, starting on page 2.

Yes, that's another discussion (in the thread Robert Charlton linked to about host crowding.) Since most people don't go beyond page 1, it doesn't worry me too much. But I am still trying to wrap my head around Google's new direction. I definitely get it in some cases (like company name searches) - but I don't get it on generic and relatively common keyword phrases.


 7:57 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

All the sites have a detailed, "Blue Widgets" page.
The top 5 positions are held the home pages of the sites, not the "blue widgets" pages themselves.
In all cases, there is almost nothing about blue widgets on the home page. 2 or three mentions of blue widgets in all cases.

My site is deemed to have the best "blue widgets" pages as it ranks the highest of any of the actual blue widgets pages at No.6. If the others had better thought of blue widget pages, they'd rank above mine.

I would make sense, for my blue widgets page to be No.1, and my home page to be no.2, or 6.

Robert Charlton

 10:20 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

nippi - Please give us a little more background. In the past, has your "blue widgets" page ever ranked above your home page for [blue widgets]? If the answer is yes, and the situation has changed, when did it change? Please pin the dates down as closely as you can, and describe the movement of the pages.

Has the home page ever previously ranked for [blue widgets], or is this something new?

Do you have any external inbound links pointing to your "blue widgets" page? How would you characterize these links?


 3:21 am on Jun 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

The consecutive display of up to two places from the same host

Uhm... If it's <2 it can't really be called "consecutive" can it?

Quick detour to google confirms that they will happily give the first 6* slots to results from the same page, never mind site. (3 basically identical, 3 more linked from the main page). But I suppose they've got a short list of sites that go by their own rules.

* OK, I cheated. If I change my display from 30 results to 10, the total drops to 4.


 11:08 am on Jun 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Robert Charlton

Yes, I used to have positions 1, and 2. The blue widgets page appeared above the home page.

There are some direct links to the blue widgets page, none created by me, all natural, at least 4 times as many as the opposition.


 8:15 am on Jul 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

OK, its rectified. Back at just position 1, with ancialliary page at 2, 14 15 and 20

very odd.


 7:30 pm on Jul 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

"I'm seeing as many as 20 pages from one site ranking in the top 30 on some terms"

I'm seeing the same in my niche for a massive amount of keyphrases - its wrong and worrying - it squeezes out many websites.
Adword sites all different in top 10 though. Is it going to stay like this?
If so...well the writing is on the wall :-)

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