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Looking Back On Google’s Diversity Update
5 July 2019 8:30am
In June, Google released not one, but two different algorithm updates and while the June 2019 Core Algorithm Update pulled in plenty of attention, the following Diversity Update seemed to almost go overlooked. It was released with a goal to ultimately increase the level of diversity in search results, reducing the number of times any one domain could appear for a result. After a month of ups and downs, we’ve dug deep into what this update has meant for search, and why we still need to pay attention.
What Was The Diversity Update?
The Diversity Update was aptly named, focusing on improving the diversity of results within the SERPs. The update would reduce the number of times a single domain could appear within the search results to a limited 1-2. Upon the release, Google commented:
“A new change now launching in Google Search is designed to provide more site diversity in our results… This site diversity change means that you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results”
In the past, the same website has been able to appear 4-5 times within a single search query, especially in some of the more brand-dominated industries, but this new update will reduce the times that this can happen. It’s important to note that subdomains will also be included as part of this new rule, though will also be subject to any exceptions, as with the main domain.
These exceptions, of course, can include branded searches, that will still see more than 2 results with the same domain, as with any cases where the same domain may appear due to relevancy. In general, however, smaller brands that may have been dominated by bigger businesses will now have a higher chance at appearing on page 1.
What Does It Have To Do With The Core Update?
Both the Diversity and June 2019 Core Algorithm updates were released within a few days of each other and for this reason, marketers and businesses alike questioned whether the two updates were linked. Google even received criticism at just how close these two updates really were. Marketers in particular were vocal about their belief that the Diversity Update should’ve been released later to ensure that all webmasters could not only work out the difference between the two updates, but recover from both separately.
However, Google did announce prior to the update that it would be a separate entity, claiming:
“The site diversity launch is separate from the June 2019 Core Update that began this week. These are two different, unconnected releases.”
Every algorithm update that Google releases has the potential to completely disrupt the SERPs and while this time around, the effects appeared to be minimal – there was only a rise of 0.49% - it’s an apparent step towards increased diversity and quality across Google’s platform. For this reason, we could see increased focus on this in the future, and we need to be prepared.
Webmasters are currently needing to rethink their existing strategies to account for the fact that only one or two pages can rank for a particular query or term. There is no advice currently available from Google themselves on how to do this, but the general consensus from across the search sphere is to ensure you are adhering to guidelines and optimising your website for not just Google, but user experience too.
For more detail, you can read the full blog at Absolute Digital Media, here.