Why does Google show multiple results from the same domain?
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Why does Google show multiple results from the same domain?


Today’s question comes from
San Francisco, California. And the question is, why does
Google continue to present multiple results from one domain
on a search result? Does it really benefit the
user to have seven results from Yelp? OK. This is a really interesting
question. I want to go ahead and cover
it in depth and give a timeline, because of all the
questions that people ask, this was one of the topics that
bubbled up amongst a lot of different questions. So I want to make sure
I cover it well. In the early days, we had
no restrictions at all. We would completely
score things. And if we saw antique green
glass ranking from one domain, you could get tons and tons of
results all from one domain. And that was kind of
a bad experience. And so we introduced something
called host clustering. Host clustering means for each
hostname, so like per subdomain, you only
get two results. And it was interesting because
we then saw people, spammers, a bunch of different webmasters,
adapt and say OK, do a bunch of different
subdomains. And then you can get two results
from one hostname, two results from another hostname,
two results from another hostname. And they can get back to
crowding up the whole results page again. So we changed things again,
because we do want diversity in our search results. And we made it such that, OK,
you can get one result from a domain and another result
from a domain, and then progressively new results from
that same domain get harder and harder for them to rank. So if the only good results are
on a certain domain, then sure, you might see a lot
of results from that one particular site again. But otherwise, you’d see a
little bit more diversity, one or two results, maybe three,
possibly four. But then you’d see results
from other domains. And that was pretty good. And that was the world that a
lot of people were used to. And then we made another change
not too long ago, within the last couple years,
that basically said, look, if somebody’s searching for rental
cabins in Tennessee and there’s a really good website
about that, something that we think really matches the query
very well, then it might be helpful instead of only showing
a few results from that domain to show more results
from that domain. As we’ve seen, a few people
are unhappy about that, because if you’re looking for
a nursing care home in the United Kingdom and you only get
results from one or two domains, then a lot of people
felt like we weren’t returning the diversity that we should. And so we actually made a change
that made it such that on the first results page, you’d
be a little more likely to see diversity. And we weren’t as worried about
the second or the third results page. And so a lot of the complaints
that I’ve seen in the last few months have actually been along
the lines of, do this search for jobs in India or
wherever, and click to page three, and then you’ll
see a lot of results from one domain. And on one hand, I understand
that that could be frustrating. On the other hand, if something
happens on page two, three, or four, fewer people are
seeing it and so it’s not considered quite as much of a
crisis or something that we’re really worried about. However, it was kind
of interesting. We saw enough questions– there
were at least four or five questions out of the 337
that we’ve seen so far that asked about this
specific topic. So I went back and I found a
complaint that people had done from a few months ago where the
result was a cluster of results all from one domain
and it was on page three. And I dropped an email to the
engineer in charge and said, hey, people are still kind
of unhappy about this. Is there any new update? And he replied back by email
that there was a new update. And so this hasn’t
launched yet. But it has been approved
by the quality launch committee meetings. And it’s in the process of
rolling out relatively soon. And it basically says, once
you’ve seen a cluster of, say, four results from a given
domain, as you click on subsequent pages, we won’t show
you results from that domain again. So that should help improve
the diversity. We might still show multiple
results from one domain if we think it’s a really good
match for that query. But at least you hopefully won’t
see it over and over and over again as you dig deeper
in the search results. So it’s always an
ongoing balance. We want to have diversity
on one hand. And on the other hand, if there
are really good results from one particular authority on
the web, we want to return the results from that
authority as well. The main thing I want to say
is, this does continue to evolve over time. And I do appreciate
the feedback. All the people who either send
me a tweet or drop me an email or send me a screenshot and say,
hey, this is a bad search result, that’s really helpful,
because I can forward that on to one particular engineer in
this case or to a team if people are worried that
titles are not being computed correctly. And we do listen to
the feedback. And we try to improve things. So I think that we’ll have a
little bit of a better set of search results regarding this
particular topic in a pretty quick timeframe. But keep sending us feedback,
because that just helps us make better search results
for everybody.

39 Comments

  • Jamie Monk

    Tripadvisor is the site that comes up multiple times in my searches (travel related). Very often it's the same page multiple times from multiple Tripadvisor country domains (.com, .in, .co.uk, .com.au etc…)

  • Michael Haley

    Yah… I was wondering about the shirt too… is something new coming with regards to reporting spam? hmmmmm.

  • Brad Dalton

    Yeah I see that as well and most of the reviews on Trip Advisor are fake.
    Living in Phuket at the moment so love your site Jamie.

  • Richard Wethered

    If a site has lots of good results for a phrase, why not just say that below the snippet? In the same vein as "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 'n' already displayed.
    If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included"
    Along the lines of 'This/these is/are the best matched page(s) from this site for your search. Click here for 'n' others that might be of interest to you.'

  • Jaishree Choudhary

    you always talk about good contents or information, what do meant to good content? it should be real time or original one or combination of secondary information…….what is your point of view?

  • Neil McHugh

    I did a test a while back related for the mobile phone industry in the United Kingdom, discovered that one domain had 70% of the results from page 1 to 10 so looking forward to this update.

  • Hexanet Communications

    If I recall correctly, 2-3 multiple results from the same domain used to be presented as a subset of the first same domain url result, in a more compact fashion, which was much more friendly and fair, than placing 3 results from the same domain as separate results taking 1/3 or 1/2 the page above the fold.

  • Macaroni Jack

    Quite honestly I hate the multiple listings from one domain. This does not make for relevant searches. Users can select a single relevant search from one domain and find related content on that domain themselves.

    Another issue is defunct content. Forbes.com is a perfect example. Often enough 7 year old content shows up in the search results as to which is outdated. What ever happened to fresh relevant content? Google used to love new content.

  • Macaroni Jack

    Also Domain Weight – Just because forbes is forbes, does not mean the content is good. I have found more relative articles to what I am searching for on places such as ezine articles.

  • Matt Helvinger

    Irritating is the Morocco map in the background – or do you want to give us a subtle hint with 'Fes'?!

  • Sean Fitzpatrick

    That was funny…. Question about Yelp and then answering with results on page 3. What the?!?!? 🙂 Gotta love the Ministry of Truth.

  • Bankert Marketing Inc.

    Many times I will be looking for a very specific programming topic and more times than not that topic will be answered by a specific website. Not always, but many times. Why? Honestly that is the best website for it. However, it is often not the first results where I find the answer but as I drill down a little bit, so does that mean that these results would then not show up? I would rather see it as an option box to not show results from multiple websites…

  • Steve Coan

    tripadviser often times has articles and listing show up over 2 full page results. I have seen realy old sites from 2003 come up with very outdated material. Often times i use the sort by date search filter to get great results in search. Hope this helps!

  • Daniel Canary

    So why couldn't you have the results show like you have showing for forums, where all the other results for a particular site are listed right below the main result, but are just an excerpt of the other topics/results? Less clutter and would most likely give a better experience for someone looking for a particular search query.
    Also, where the heck can I buy one of those shirts???? I want one..I want one!!!

  • Wouter Blom

    "Host clustering" should be named "domain clustering" i think. It realy did hit me sidewide on all keywords. Looks OK, but gives me less SEO information about what pages are also valuable for a keyword.
    there were no clusters, just 1 result and then no new results from my website in top 250. Before today i had a great number of results on many different pages.

  • Sagar U

    no i am not talking about sponsored ads
    there are some results in which there is a physical address mentioned next to the results
    during that case there are more than 10 results on the page @

  • Peter Wurzer

    A bigger variety is not necessarily giving us better quality. What sounds logically in your words can be pretty much time consuming on the search for the best fitting offers. What we need is simple: Only The Best MUST be on the top, regardless how often. Even that might be sounding undemocratically and in an unfair way.

  • Spook SEO

    There is a pretty simple solution to this: spread your content over multiple Web 2.0 sites for free, then have them all link back to your main site.

  • John Britsios

    @Matt Cutts if I understood you said: "Google expanded the clustering to show a max of 3 or 4 results per domain, instead."

    Do a search for the term "rainbow vacuum". There is a domain with 5 search results starting on the homepage and going into the second page.

    And this video is more than a year old and changes are not to be seen yet.

    So I am just reporting the issue as you have suggested.

  • Marisa Wright

    So, does this mean that anyone with a blog on a sub-domain  (e.g. Blogger, WordPress.com etc) is in big trouble?  Or is Google still making a distinction between sub-domains owned by the main domain owner, and sub-domains owned by others?

  • abdul rahman

    Nicely said, but in the actually you are showing 5 results from a poorly formatted website, where there are 100s of more popular sites with better format and data. search for "Indian maid" in google.com.sg and you get http://www.banusmaid.com/ several time, I cant think in what way it is better than others :((

  • venkat thangi

    check this!! top 30 results from same domain!

    https://www.google.co.in/search?q=compare+yu+yunicorn+vs+oppo+f1

  • Amitesh Singh

    I want to know whether different pages of same domain can be pull on google first page, if the DA of that domain is 37?

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