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Google To Address Domain Name Clustering

May 21, 2013

Google engineer and head of the company's web spam team, Matt Cutts, has said Google will soon take steps to avoid domain name clustering in search results.

The change is a result of complaints whereby multiple entries would show in Google's results from the same domain name; particularly past the first page of listings. Soon, if a particular domain name has already appeared in several times in top results, it is less likely to appear in deeper results.

The multiple listings weren't necessarily as a result of any gaming of Google on the part of the site owner - it's just the way Google had been working; based on the assumption that the first page of results provide suitable listings for most people's needs.

Up until this change takes place, Google has had no hard limit on the number of pages from the same domain name that can be listed after the first page - an issue it has acknowledged wasn't ideal. Google had previously taken steps to show more choice on the first page of results but less diversity on subsequent pages.

While clickthroughs drop-off dramatically past the first page (in fact, after the top 5 listings on the first page); no doubt some site owners may see a change in traffic if they had been particularly "blessed" with the multiple listings across a broad range of keywords. 

However, it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good - now other sites may get the chance to scoop up a little more traffic from Google. When this will occur is unclear; except that the change has been approved and it will be "soon".

The following video features Matt Cutts going into more detail about the upcoming changes and the history of how Google has handled domain clustering and diversity issues.

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