What is Google’s Diversity Update?

In June, Google announced a new “change” it is implementing on search results. This change, known as the Site Diversity Change, is meant to adjust how many webpages from the same domain appear on their SERPS (search engine results page). This should help smaller sites rank on the first page of SERPs that are frequently dominated by the same larger domains.

Will this affect my firm’s site?

This change may help your firm’s website become more visible in search results, especially for local search. Because the number of times a domain can appear in the results is now limited, larger directory sites that may have been outranking your firm will only be able to appear twice, leaving more room for other domains in the SERPs.

For Social Security disability lawyers, you may see a change in your rankings for keywords the SSA was dominating. Suppose someone searched “SSDI.”. The results were once littered with SSA landing pages. Now, the SSA will only be able to rank twice. Because of this, your firm has a better chance of achieving a higher ranking for keywords shared with the SSA.

How much of an impact is there?

Moz did a study* of the update and found that for their own 10,000 keyword data set, they did not see too much movement in the SERPs. Keep in mind that this is just specific to Moz’s keywords. The best way to tell if your site saw an impact is to check your traffic to your site as well as ranking positions for your firm’s top keywords.

The biggest impact you may see would be if your firm’s site had more than two pages on a SERP. With the removal of one of your pages on the SERP, you may see a loss in traffic. To monitor this, you can check Google Analytics for traffic and Google Search Console to monitor your keyword activity. If you see a drop on specific pages, then you may have been affected.

Can I capitalize on this?

Even though the actual impact of the change may be on the smaller scale, you may still want to make some optimizations to your firm’s site to make the most of the change. Using Google Search Console or services like AHREFs or Moz, you can track which keywords your firm ranks for and where you fall on the results. Optimizing for these keywords that you rank for can help you increase your rankings where the diversity update has opened up new ranking positions.

With changes like this as well as past core updates, Google is showing a larger push for content that better matches users’ search intent. Many say the reason for the Site Diversity Change was user complaints of not enough variety in the SERPs. Continuing to monitor your firm’s keyword ranks and optimizing for these keywords can help your firm make the most of this change as well continue to increase your firm’s rankings.