Long Tail Queries Ruling Google? Supplemental Index Ranking As Main Index Results in Google

Jan 8, 2008 • 7:30 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld thread has some interesting conversation about an increase in long tail traffic people have been noticing from Google. Long tail traffic, if you don't know, are the longer more specific keyword searches, such as big blue pineapple chair searches, where the number of searches are very low but when they land on your page, the conversions should be high.

The reports seem to convey that when Google changed the way they handle supplemental index results just late last month, it actually is making an impact now. People feel that the supplemental index is truly not a separate index anymore and being treated as a listing in the main Google index would be treated.

Thus people are noticing large increases in those long tail referrals from Google, especially those with huge sites.

Which data centers at Google is this appearing on? It is hard to isolate, I am told, but here is one member's thoughts on that.

At the moment I am seeing the newer mixed results at most datacentres, earlier today when I was seeing the differences I was generally comparing the old results on with the new 'mixed' results on

Some feel that the supplemental index and main index are still separated but blended more, as Tedster and g1smd say, "this isn't a move out of Supplemental, but more a blending of results from both indexes."

This is awesome moderation by Tedster, he isolated this conversation and pulled it out from a different thread.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Craig Geis

01/08/2008 03:38 pm

I'm not sure what the guys on WMW are seeing. I just checked the analytics for 6 medium to large dynamic web sites. The math indicates that there hasn’t been a significant change in Google traffic or KW referrals across all 6 sites. Here’s how I checked: I segmented Google non-paid traffic and then averaged the daily number of keywords for the last 2 mos (plus the first 8 days of January). I’m not seeing the slightest increase in Google traffic or the number of long tail phrases.

Michael Martinez

01/08/2008 07:31 pm

Google dumped a lot of pages from its index(es) over the holidays and they may not be taking that into account. So far as I can determine, the pages in the Supplemental Index still don't rank for unique expressions (either in site search or Web search) and they don't pass anchor text. In the past, when we had queries that produced what I think were reliable results, there was plenty of evidence that many if not all pages in the Main Web Index were also included in the Supplemental Results Index. It could be that they are seeing some Supplemental pages move into the Main Web Index while the various data centers are still syncronizing their data.

No Name

02/16/2008 06:35 pm

Long Tail Queries Ruling Google? Yes, they will be. This is a repeated comment since the first link is not working.

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