I’ve been hearing rumblings about this from various points on the Internet since last week, but now we have official information from Google. Google announced last week that search results would now show multiple results from the same domain. It used to be that the most results you would get from one domain would be two. Now you’ll get as many as Google thinks are appropriate.
This won’t be for all queries, of course. Google will only roll out the multiple results for queries that seem to indicate an interest in a single domain. For example,
say I was interested in digital cameras on Amazon. I can do the query digital cameras Amazon (note that I don’t have to specify on Amazon or at Amazon or anything like that) and get the following page of results.
There is a sponsored link at the top of the results, and a pointer to shopping options, but aside from a few results at the very bottom of the page everything comes
Now this is going to be very handy if you are in fact looking for results from one place, but I was worried about doing actual company research. Would Google make it difficult to find company-related information that wasn’t on that particular company’s domain?
I did an experiment, searching for Target pharmacy. The first eight of the results were on the Target.com domain, Google’s new feature working as you’d expect.
Then I tweaked the search, adding one word, so the query was now Target pharmacy sucks. (NOTE: This was for an experiment only. I’ve used a Target pharmacy once to buy Sudafed and it was a perfectly acceptable experience.) This time none of the results were from Target, most were from discussions and surprisingly one result was pro-Target (the post was complaining a different pharmacy sucks.) I tried using softer words instead of sucks — bad, problem, and trouble — and only trouble brought me several results from the Target.com domain.
Does Google’s change mean that we’ll never see “two results from a domain” again in search results? Absolutely not. I wondered about that and found results in the old fashion in just a few minutes. I did a search for facebook researchbuzz and found two sets of two results from, well, Facebook and ResearchBuzz.
As a searcher, the lesson I’m going to take away from this change is to avoid using company and domain names in searches unless I really want to slant my results that way. And if I do have to use these names in a search, I’ll counterbalance them with descriptive terms that hopefully keep the results from being limited to one domain. But I don’t think this adjustment is going to radically change the way I do searching.