A couple of weeks ago in a post about owning your brand’s SERP, we recommended creating subdomains for your site with the goal of getting more of your site’s pages on a single SERP: “Because Google tries to give searchers real variety in their search results, they’re unlikely to rank more than one page from the same domain for any given keyword.” Interestingly, last Friday, Google confirmed a small tweak to their algorithm. In certain cases, searches will now turn up numerous results from a single domain on the same SERP:

Today we’ve launched a change to our ranking algorithm that will make it much easier for users to find a large number of results from a single site. For queries that indicate a strong user interest in a particular domain, like

[exhibitions at amnh], we’ll now show more results from the relevant site.

For Google’s short explanation of this tweak, see their blog entry here. But briefly, it means that if the terms of a query seem to indicate that the searcher is looking for results from a particular site (in the above example, the inclusion of a specific museum’s initials indicate that its website would be a good source of information), Google will include more results from that site on the first SERP.

Now, this news is great for larger entities. It means that they can easily dominate SERPs associated with their brand. However, for smaller companies the change may be less than helpful. If you look through the comments on the post linked above, you can see that smaller businesses are already reporting having been shoved out of top rankings after competitors’ websites have taken over all top 7 spots.

On the user end, this change seems less than ideal as well. The reason that Google didn’t allow more than two top rankings from a single domain before was to protect search result diversity. Now if you have a big brand or company name in your search terms, you’ll likely have to sift through more results to get at anything that’s not from that company’s own site. In some instances the change may be helpful. However, if a user really wanted a lot of results from the same site, they could always go to that site itself and search or just browse around. Plus, for a long time now you could return results from a single domain by entering a query such including a site specification (e.g. seo site:marketplaceearth.com).