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Host Crowding issues re-emerge?

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
CEO
29 June 2009

As I was searching online  at the weekend I noticed that some searches were showing several results from the same domains. Now of itself that’s not a big deal and if relevancy is spot on so what? But of course by allowing a couple of sites to dominate the rankings is that what the search engines should be aiming for?

Way back in 2007 I wrote a small piece about Host Crowing (multiple listings from one site for a given search) on the back of news from Google that they were able to deal with it. And they were not looking to exclude all multiple listings, but to lesson the impact based on the user query.

(Disclaimer: no clients in this space so no axe to grind!)

So as I was searching this weekend  for some ‘cheap bathroom accessories’ I was surprised to see three of the top ten results from gumtree:

Gumtree Listings

And then when you went onto page two and three you also had another three results from gumtree.com and gumtree.ie.

Page 1

bath.gumtree.com

www.gumtree.com/london

luton.gumtree.com/

Page 2/3

miltonkeynes.gumtree.com

glasgow.gumtree.com

cork.gumtree.ie

Now I am not saying this is bad or lacks relevancy. But this is the first time I have seen a bunch of pages from one site have so many local listings as well as incorporating those from another country – Ireland.

In the top 100 there were a total of eight gumtree listings. Seems a lot to me. Have you seen anything similar when searching around?

In terms of what this means for sites it may be too soon to draw any firm conclusion but it does look like if you are an authority site and operate local subdomains there may be some juice in getting those multiple listings working for you.

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