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Google Downsizes From 10 Links To Seven

Hello! I’m Taryn, and I’m an intern here at SEO Inc. You’ll see me writing from time to time.

Back in 2010, Google would typically only display two results from the same domain in a single search. Since then however, site domination has seen a steady rise. Late in 2010, Google even confirmed that more searches could be dominated by multiple results from the same domain. Most recently, Google has downshifted from displaying 10 links to seven, and single sites can dominate search results now more than ever.

Example Sitelinks for SEO Inc

So Where Is The Proof?

Between August 8 and August 15, there was a significant spike in SERPs with exactly seven results. Dr. Peter Meyers of SEOmoz took a set of 1,000 queries and top 10 SERPs and measured them every 24 hours in order to see the spike in searches with precisely seven results. This surge in exactly seven results could mean that Google is experimenting with a new display format for the search results. While only 20% of the results have exactly seven listings, it does indicate a change in the search results. Sitelinks that are often displayed for brand names are now popping up with non-branded searches, and it seems as though Google is attempting to tie the new display format to whether or not sitelinks appear.

What Else Has Google Changed?

In addition to the seven links and sitelinks change, there also seems to be an increase in Google displaying multiple listings for the same website. The possibility for a site to dominate SERPs isn’t necessarily related to the shift from 10 to seven links, but it may open the door for brand sites to push down negative content. While this isn’t necessarily unusual, especially since Google confirmed the possibility of site domination in 2010, it does feel like another expansion in one domain monopolizing search results is happening. Whether or not that’s because of the Panda and Penguin updates, or because searchers are simply more attuned to the results now, remains to be seen.

So what does that mean for you? It means that your searches are more likely to be dominated by a single website, and it means you may have to do more manual sifting through the site that takes over the first seven results. Ultimately, Google is altering its search algorithm, and we can be sure to expect more changes.

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