Does Google's Supplemental Index Still Concern You?

Jan 15, 2009 • 8:08 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

August 1st of 2007, Google dropped the supplemental tag from their search results. The main reason why they did this was because their supplemental index was fresher and deeper then it was when it first launched in 2003, plus, in my opinion, to reduce all the confusion is caused.

Google said back then:

The current system provides deeper and more continuous indexing. Additionally, we are indexing URLs with more parameters and are continuing to place fewer restrictions on the sites we crawl. As a result, Supplemental Results are fresher and more comprehensive than ever. We're also working towards showing more Supplemental Results by ensuring that every query is able to search the supplemental index, and expect to roll this out over the course of the summer.

Since then, there has not been much discussion around the supplemental results, due to it being out of sight, which makes it out of mind. But are SEOs and webmasters still confused and worried about this supplemental index?

A HighRankings Forum thread has discussion on that topic. It seems at least one person is still considered over this index. In fact, the SEO wants to know, which of her pages are in this index. Like I proposed when Google dropped the tag from the results, Google might want to consider adding a report to Google Webmaster Tools to aid the webmaster in knowing how many of their pages are in this index, this way they can work on getting them out.

Does it matter if those pages are out of the supplemental index? I think most SEOs would agree, yes, it matters. But now that we have our heads in the sand, we really don't know exactly how to improve those pages, outside of the "holistic" approach. :)

Here is a poll, are you still concerned about Google's supplemental index?

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.

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Michael Martinez

01/15/2009 05:50 pm

Supplemental Pages should still be of high concern to everyone because: 1) Most pages are still Supplemental 2) Google is still not fully indexing Supplemental pages 3) Google still promotes Main Web Index pages above more relevant Supplemental pages in the search results The fact that other search engines use dual indexes has no relevance to this issue (Matt Cutts has more than one brought this up, so we might as well disarm it once and for all). We're talking about GOOGLE'S SEARCH RESULTS, which don't show the most relevant content. If Google were to at least make it easier for people to identify their Supplemental pages, people could take more direct and deliberate action to improve the linking for those pages so that they come out of the Supplemental index.

Jaan Kanellis

01/16/2009 05:04 pm

As usual Michael is right on all accounts. Removing the SI tag is a good example of what would happen if they did the same for the PR number. People would simply stop worrying about and move onto other things that were visible to them. The fact is the SI still exists and so would PR.


01/29/2009 01:31 am

Yo barry- I am very concerned- dont you have a main line to Matt Cutts- tell him we need supp in web master t=so we can resolve them- its only fair.


02/11/2009 03:39 am

Good article, and answered my question (posed to google) about whether or not supplementals were still being indicated in the search results... guess that ended years ago. I am definitely concerned about the SI - and I agree with Erika that it would be real nice to see this in WT so that we could work to address it...

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