A week ago, Matt Cutts posted a video discussing what SEOs could expect in the coming months. One of the mentioned updates was around host or domain clustering / crowding. I think some type of domain crowding update went out, starting last night. Hat tip to Jason Mun for noticing.
Specifically what Matt Cutts said about domain clustering was [emphasis mine]:
We’ve also heard a lot of feedback from some people about that if I go down three pages deep I’ll see a cluster of several results all from one domain. We’ve actually made things better that you’re less likely to see that on the first page and more likely to see that on the following pages. And we’re looking at a change which might deploy which would basically say that once you’ve seen a cluster of results from one site then you’d be less likely to see more results from that site as you go deeper into the next pages of Google search results.
And that has been good feedback that people have been sending us. We continue to refine host clustering and host crowding and all those sorts of the things. But we’ll continue to listen to feedback and see what we can do even better.
Thanks to Ross for transcribing the video.
There appears to be changes in the number of results from a single root domain shown for a particular query. It doesn’t seem to be showing up consistently in all countries though.
Site Search Edge Case
You’ll most easily notice this when you perform a site: search against a domain. It’ll limit the results to 3 pages and show between 28 and 30 results before it gives you the omitted results statement. The consistent part is 3 pages, but the exact numbers vary in the high 20’s.
For example, here is a site:amazon.com search.
This “omitted results” prompt usually shows when you dig deep enough that the indexed URLs start to become duplicate, near duplicate, or relatively low value. However, now it appears to be truncating at 3 pagination pages, regardless of the site’s authority or information architecture. It doesn’t appear on sites with