The whole first page on Google game has gotten a bit harder recently. This is because Google has started showing up to four pages from the same domain on one page of the search results. The reason? Google wants to present the most relevant search results based on a searcher’s intent. If that searcher is interested in a particular domain or topic they might see up to four results for one domain based on relevance.
Google’s reasoning from their blog: “As before, we still provide links to results from a variety of domains to ensure people find a diverse set of sources relevant to their searches. However, when our algorithms predict pages from a particular site are likely to be most relevant, it makes sense to provide additional direct links in our search results.”
It’s important to note that when more than one page is shown from the same domain, the website descriptions for the additional pages change from two lines to one. This makes the first 10 words of a meta-description tag even more important.
Previously Google would only show up to two pages from the same domain on one page, but in the past two weeks there has been a dramatic change. Showing four results from one domain instead of one or two can create a substantial advantage in the search engine real estate game. Just like back in the day, the number of times your website is visible on a search page the more opportunities there are to click it.
For some websites this will increase exposure if the pages are properly optimized and relevant, but for others it could make them harder to find and see on the search results page. If your competitor shows up four times to your one, this creates a distinct advantage for them. Also, pages that might normally appear on the first page of search results will now be pushed to the second page. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but one thing is for sure, proper search engine optimization and management are indispensible. The game just keeps getting more competitive.