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"Small Algo Change" -Domain Diversity 9/14/2012

     
8:57 pm on Sep 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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From the twitter:

@mattcutts: Just fyi, we rolled out a small algo change this week that improves the diversity of search results in terms of different domains returned. [twitter.com...]
10:00 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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That may have been the intention - the effect was much more wide
edited problem with w key !
10:47 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There is a certain contingent that holds that there is another update going on as well - possibly a new Panda. Probably won't know for a day or two.
12:00 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm glad they're focussing on this, because I find it generally delivers very bad results.

I'm still seeing typical results in travel though - for a sample "xxx hotel reviews" no less than 8 out of 10 results are Tripadvisor. Admittedly they are on two different domains (.co.uk and .com), but surely Google can work out they're effectively the same site.

Looks like they still have some work to do.
5:03 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm glad they're focussing on this, because I find it generally delivers very bad results.


I share that sentiment and find it borderline idiotic to return the same site up to 87 times in the top 100.

There is a certain contingent that holds that there is another update going on as well


For 3 days the crawling of my site, both in number of pages and total data crawled, was cut in half but has returned to normal now. Something is changing, you can feel it coming.
10:42 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Diversity in search results used to be standard in Google results. They've really messed up their search results and are now backpedaling.

Host crowding was completely removed a few months ago. It made finding something almost impossible. Matt Cutts implied that it made the results better. Now they're trying to improve diversity.

A lot of bad decisions over at the Plex.
12:10 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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whatever they done in this "small update", it didn't help to solve the problem of one domain dominating top100 of serp, imo

on the other hand, when I try to search for "[some problem] stackoverflow", I get only one or two results from SO, well done google..
8:50 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Remember a few months ago when I had a search that returned 20 results from the same site? That type of multi-result is not happening nearly as bad anymore.
9:30 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yep Brett we did talk about that, it was about time they fixed it. I hope to see a panda update next or even better remove Panda for the good old results we had 2-3 years ago on google search and image.
9:43 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There is a certain contingent that holds that there is another update going on as well

What I see happening to one of my sites seems to point that way. It's traffic was cut in half starting the 15th. It will be interesting to see why and what happens over the next week or so.
9:53 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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That type of multi-result is not happening anymore.

So is 2 results acceptable? That's what I'm seeing in SERP's i follow.
9:55 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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2 results from 1 site has been standard google practice for a long time - all the way back to many years ago with the indented listing for an additional page that also ranked highly enough for a term. I don't think anyone has ever had a problem with 2 results from one site.

[edited by: conroy at 9:56 pm (utc) on Sep 16, 2012]

9:55 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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2 is ok, but not for all domains of cause.
9:59 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Brett: I'm seeing a slight improvement, but I think they just turned down a dial. I still believe that for some queries, there are far too many results from single domains.

@zeus: Wouldn't it be nice? In my case, I used to spend far less time wading through results to find exactly what I needed.
10:14 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If a site is returned multiple times, doesn't that immediately indicate some sort of keyword loading or over SEO? So, why is their algo missing this with the thousands of previous updates that were supposed to address this? Seems something else is up.
11:00 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Brett still seeing host crowding in our niche
11:46 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If a site is returned multiple times, doesn't that immediately indicate some sort of keyword loading or over SEO?


I don't think that's a given. That would imply that Google is accidentally serving multiple pages on a site; I think they're doing it on purpose. But the dial was just turned up too high to begin with.
11:51 pm on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Situation when 3 domains(and their subdomains) dominate top 100 - is that what we call host crowding?
12:25 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm just guessing here - but I'd say that when lots of pages show up from the same domain that's a sign Google's algorithm doesn't feel there are very many quality results. They'd rather serve up what amounts to the full site navigation than serve something from another domain that they think is a weak result in some way.

I mentioned this in another thread - I've now been hearing some complaint from site owners who lost their multiple listings. No one like losing traffic, that's for sure - no matter why.
12:27 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Our extended discussion on this topic was here...

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


Tripadvisor

TA is a slightly different situation. It was noted in the above threads and there are links leading to specific discussions about TA results.
12:28 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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For several years Google has used something called “host crowding,” which means that Google will show up to two results from each hostname/subdomain of a domain name. That approach works very well to show 1-2 results from a subdomain, but we did hear complaints that for some types of searches (e.g. esoteric or long-tail searches), Google could return a search page with lots of results all from one domain. In the last few weeks we changed our algorithms to make that less likely to happen

matt cutts in his blog [mattcutts.com ]
..in december 2007. see the irony?

to my mind, the recent serps were the most annoying, ridiculous and amateurish google glitch ever. i call it a glitch now, because (apart from the respective site owner) no one in his right mind would prefer 10 out of 10 websites of the same domain on his keyword search, right? i couldn't believe it when i first saw the mess - thought, it was intentional to minimize publisher competition in the serps, resulting in poor search satisfaction, thereby maximizing googles' adwords earnings - till users are completely disgusted.

well, google could continue this short term profit strategy in many markets. it wouldn't even hurt them directly as they are the 90+% monopolist in many countries and no one would change his googling habits for something like "bing" or so (for real, joe user acts that way - google would have to put a paywall on search to make people look for alternatives).. one can only hope that google decides pro user experience again like they proclaim.
12:49 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm just guessing here - but I'd say that when lots of pages show up from the same domain that's a sign Google's algorithm doesn't feel there are very many quality results.

I agree. If Google is finding that, in the top 10 pages (100 results at 10 per page) for a query, that it's getting 75% of its user engagement on say, 4 domains, does it give those sites 8 listings in the top 100 results or does it test by displaying more and see what happens?

Different types and displays of sitelinks were one type of variant that Google tried... Sitelinks, Mini-Sitelinks, Mega Sitelinks, etc. It could be argued that those attracted more attention than multiple results might... and that host uncrowding was at least an alternative which the data more or less forced Google to test.

In terms of what Google's been doing, btw, it's most informative to view these results 10 per page, as I'm guessing that's how Google's been testing them. It's most likely getting much more searcher data from the top 2 or 3 pages, and less so far deeper down... so I believe I'm seeing the most granular changes occurring on those top pages. I'm guessing also that as Google gets more data it will make more changes.
1:13 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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matt cutts in his blog [mattcutts.com ]
..in december 2007. see the irony?


Wow. Indeed, and that is interesting.
1:19 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just checked, host crowding indeed still present.

I'd be ok with this if reflected value of pages in the SERPs, but instead just seems one page may look strong, and lots more carried along for the ride, booting other pages down.

Indeed Google messed up, fixing what wasn't broke.
Too much faffing about with the algorithms?
1:54 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Host crowding for me is not only personally irritating but also a setback as a business owner. EXCEPT, that I am also a beneficiary of it on one of my websites that is a very small niche and the opportunity is time limited (that is why really no competition). I just checked today and for one of my keywords, first 15 results are from my domain. It is not something I celebrate because it just goes on to demonstrate how Panda broke Google and could almost doom it.
3:08 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just so no one misunderstands any communications from Google - historically they use the phrase "host crowding" to mean LIMITING a domain to only two rankings. That is, it means "crowding" each host into a small, 2-result footprint.

So when Google people say "host crowding" they meant limiting the number of results from a subdomain to only two spots.

We've been searching to find the right word or phrase for the opposite, and "host jamming" or "host spamming" are two such phrases that members have come up with.
3:13 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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yep, it seems some of you are getting it wrong.

host crowding = max 2 serp entries for each domain

the recent/current mess is the opposite = lots of results for the same domain.
3:36 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I just checked today and for one of my keywords, first 15 results are from my domain. It is not something I celebrate

there is another issue: it makes a site look spammy and may destroy its brand in the longer term. people hate being spammed with the same domain over and over - they want diversity and choice, pretty basic stuff.
as a webmaster, i definitely would assume black-hat tactics if i didn't know better.
7:11 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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In my niche they did the opposite, now there is more form one domain then before.
8:33 am on Sept 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Robert Charlton TA continues crowding all over the place, no change here.
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