Google's Cache for Supplemental Results Does Not Highlight Query Words

Sep 4, 2006 • 8:22 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A very small but yet somewhat interesting observation has been made at Search Engine Watch Forums. You know how when you click on the "cache" link in the search results and Google will highlight the keywords you searched on, within the page copy?

For example a search on danny sullivan brings back Reaction from the Search Community on Danny Sullivan's Departure post I did the other day. If you click on the cache link from, you will get to here and you will see that it highlights both Danny and Sullivan in yellow and light blue colors, respectively.


Now, if a result that is found within Google's supplemental results, and you click on the cache link, it will not show those keywords in highlights. An example, but there are many, is when you search on TrackBack URL "Discussion on Google Indexing Itself?", the Google cache for that page should highlight the words "Google Indexing Itself" but it doesn't.


I have looked at several other examples, all tend to follow the rule. If your pages are in the supplemental results, and you click on the cache link from, it will not highlight the query terms you entered into Google.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

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Matt Cutts

09/04/2006 04:29 pm

Huh--I never noticed that. I'll ask around about this.

Barry Schwartz

09/04/2006 05:04 pm

Hmm, my example was delisted from Google. ;-) But I am sure most people here have their own examples they can come up with.

Matt Cutts

09/05/2006 05:53 pm

Probably just index churn. The Supplemental folks already had a fix for this ready, so it's a matter of when some executables will be pushed. I'd expect highlighting to be working again within the next few weeks. Thanks again for mentioning this..

Barry Schwartz

09/05/2006 06:00 pm

Thank you!

Gary Zehnpfennig

01/24/2007 06:59 pm

I have a somewhat related question: How can I obtain brighter, more "contrast-y" colors for "unvisited links" -vs- "visited links", than those that are standard with Google? But at the same time, I also want to retain the color highlighting of "cached" search keywords. This is all because I am partially color-blind. If I select "Ignore Colors specified on web pages"(Accessability window), the color highlighting of "Cached" Text Keywords seems to be disabled. Any help on this problem will be appreciated. Regards, Gary.

Michael Martinez

02/16/2007 04:57 pm

Here it is February 16, 2007 and this issue has still not been resolved. As best I can determine, about 80% of the Web content Google previously displayed in search results now shows as Supplemental Results pages and there is absolutely no indication that any of the content on those pages is being parsed and indexed by Google.

Barry Schwartz

02/16/2007 05:22 pm

Can you give me examples Michael?


12/16/2007 08:09 pm

If your Google highlighting has disappeared, try this: Go to: Control Panel >Assessability Options >Display tab .uncheck "Use High Contrast" >then at right, click on Settings .look at "High Cintrat Appearance Scheme", move the highlight from High Contrast #? to top of page or elsewhere for non-highcontract scheme. Try Desert.

V. Blink

03/25/2008 02:54 am

I have a weird problem in that suddenly, when clicking on my "cached" version of my homepage: , my searched words are not highlighted, but other, random text is. Anyone have a similar issue, or know what could be causing this? My site's dropped 8 spots since this happened. Thanks for any help. Vanessa


09/14/2008 01:09 pm

I do not believe that is that way. At least no more. I tested two supplemental page of my site and the search terms were highlighted. Or did I miss something?

p. Fran

09/29/2008 02:55 pm

Having a similar problem but with a twist. If for example you search "dog stays outside house", outside is highlighted but the other words - dog, stays and house - are not highlighted. Any one ever experienced this before. This only happens on the homepage by the way. The other pages seem to be working fine.

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