It’s estimated that hundreds of websites are created every minute, which makes it increasingly harder for new websites to achieve high placement on search engine results pages. Many business owners get so frustrated with the challenges of SEO that they stop trying. However, things have changed on Google, and now is an excellent time for smaller websites to redouble their SEO efforts. A recent third-party analysis found that Google’s Site Diversity Update has made the SEO ecosystem a little better for smaller websites.
Despite the name, Google’s Site Diversity Update has nothing to do with race and nationalities. This update focuses on providing more diversity for search engine results. The policy change went into effect last month. As we discussed in a previous article, the diversity update makes it so that most Google search results won’t contain more than two links from a particular domain in the top positions for search results.
Most businesses were happy to hear about the Site Diversity Update, unless they were one of the few websites that were dominating their industry’s most commonly used keywords. Shaking up the search results in this way gave more businesses a chance for high placement on Google. Furthermore, it gave consumers more choice when searching for services or information.
Now that the Site Diversity Update has been out for about a month, SEO researchers can look back at the results to see who benefited from the change. Searchmetrics did a study where they analyzed search engine result pages for May 2019 (before the update) and June 2019 (after the update). Their results suggest Google’s new updated is working as intended.
According to Searchmetric’s data, there were no result pages that contained more than three URLs from one domain. To be fair, Google suggested there would be no more than two links per domain, but these results show that the update is having the desired impact. Before the update, 1.8 percent of searches had 3 or more URLs from the same domain.
Only 3.5 percent of the searches contained three URLs, which is nearly half of the amount seen in the previous month (6.7 percent). To put it another way, more than 95 percent of the search engine result pages analyzed by Searchmetric follow the guidelines set out when the Site Diversity Update was announced.
The study also produced results that showed the real benefactors of the new policy are the smaller sites that weren’t ranking before. At 44.2 percent, the percentage of searches that contain two URLs from the same domain increased by less than 1 percent from before the update. This data suggests that the spots lost by domains with more than 2 URLs were filled by links that weren’t on the SERP before. This suggestion is bolstered by the fact that more than half (52.3 percent) of searches returned unique domains for all positions.
All of this data shows that now is the time for smaller websites to push for higher rankings by improving their SEO. In the David and Goliath battle that small business owners have to fight, Google has just given small websites a stone and a sling.
For more recent news about updates and changes to Google, read this article on improvements made to Google’s GIF search tools.