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SERP Crowding & Shrinkage – Google Showing Fewer Results & More from Same Domain

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Website Technical Issues | Posted on 19-09-2012

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Most people have heard about the concept of supply and demand. The greater the quantity of an item, the less it costs. Unfortunately we’re seeing the same principle at play in the search engines. Google seems to now be moving from offering 10 front page spaces on some search results, to seven.That means there’s less real estate available on the front page of many keywords. So what is the search engine giant up to? In order to figure it out, we must do some trial and error.

Seven or Ten?

First of all, it doesn’t appear that all search results have moved to just seven places. Analysis of thousands of Google searches seems to indicate that approximately 20 percent of the searches put through the search engine are coming back with seven results instead of the previously standard ten. So how do you know if the keywords you target have been affected? There are a few things that must be analyzed.

Brand Names – First of all, most brand names do appear to have gone to just seven results per search page. Also when the keyword is a brand name, usually the first result on the page gives back expanded site-links on the results. However, brand names aren’t the only keywords that bring back seven results. For example, if you search for “krill,” you’ll also get only seven results. The top result is the Wikipedia entry, which now enjoys expanded site links. So how does Google decide which keywords get seven results and which get ten? As near as analysts can tell, if you’ve got a domain that’s an exact match for the keyword, the result is often a page with seven results and an expanded site-links listing on the first result (the one which also shares its domain with the keyword) for that keyword.

News Story – Another thing you’ll notice if you really test out the latest changes in Google is the fact that there’s one news story in the seven search results. We don’t count that news story as a link because technically it’s not really part of the results. News stories rank differently because of the ever-changing nature of news.

Site Domination and Diversity

Another big issue that seems to be coming up along with this issue with the seven search results is site domination. It now seems easier than ever for some sites to hog all of the spots on the first page. This means that diversity of links is dropping, which can be a real headache for people trying to use Google to find information. On the other hand, by reducing the results on some searches down to seven, you could say that diversity is going up on those results because the expanded site-links on the first result are all included under that one umbrella. Instead of ten links that all go to the pages on the same site, you have seven links (including one with expanded site-links) that each go to different sites completely.

According to representatives from Google, they’re experimenting right now to determine the best way to handle multiple results that all come from the same site. So you’ll probably continue to see shifts going on for quite some time.

As a website owner, what can you do about this shift? In reality, you really can’t do anything about it all. This has nothing to do with the keywords you choose or the density you utilize on your website. It’s about algorithms, which is something only Google has control over. Until Google finalizes its decision and rolls out its next update, the best thing we can do is sit and wait.

Contact Avasoft today for help getting your business or website onto the first page of search engine results. Let us put our proven track record of success to work for you.

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