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thejenn 21st December 2006 09:14 AM

Breaking Out of Google's Supplemental Index
Authored by: Matt McGee

Full Text:

A Snippet:

Google's supplemental index is essentially a backup database of web pages. When Google can't find an adequate supply of matching pages in its main index (where you want to be), it'll show pages from the supplemental index (where you don't want to be). You can tell a supplemental listing very easily: look for the phrase "Supplemental Result" in green text on the bottom line of your Google listing.

jvance 30th December 2006 10:34 PM

Very informative article! However, I just checked my sites and it looks like most of my stuff is in the supplemental index.


Out of the 4 sites that I checked, 3 of them are based on WordPress. The other has a custom CMS. I know that roughly 80% of the content is unique, so I don't think it is a duplicate content issue. I almost wish it was, as it would be easier to troubleshoot. There seems be so many hoops to jump through for Google. As a part timer, I find it difficult to keep up and get all my "ducks in a row" in order to satisfy their requirements.

Oh well...I guess I am done whining.

Anyway, thanks Matt for shining the light on my dark corner. I guess I have my work cut out for me.

jvance 2nd January 2007 03:00 PM

More detail...
OK. I am going to reveal a little more of myself here...I want to get to the bottom of this supplemental result issue...

I run a podcast that highlights Independant Christian Musicians. Almost every page is in Google's supplemental index. Is this because of WordPress, or something else?

Here is some further info on the site:

I have made no attempt to optimze this site, and it is using WordPress as its platform.

The domain is about 9 months old. I have been active on it since September of 2006.

The written content is original, although there is some affiliate links for a few of the musicians. Also, there is little written content, as I wanted to keep the bulk of the "product" in the podcast. The blog is more of a quick recap of what happened on the podcast.

I use wordpress as my basic "CMS" on a few other sites, and I am noticing similar results. THe other sites are older than Fresh Worship, though. Can anyone shed some light on this problem?

Thanks in advance...

Logan 3rd January 2007 10:00 AM

The issue isn't wp specifically, but instead you need to focus on two areas imo. (a) substantially unique content on each page (b) improve the number of sites that link to your site.

jvance 4th January 2007 08:15 AM

Thanks Logan. I guess the only links that I have come from various Podcast directories. I will work on the "more content" issue and try to include more show notes.

Interestingly enough, I was reading Shoe Money's blog yesterday and he mentions that all his content is in supplemental. The guy has a PR of 6 on his home page, and has over 400 entries on his blog with 36,000 backlinks in Yahoo (about 1000 in Google).

I know this is a case by case issue, but when is Google finally satisfied that they can trust a site? (I am not sure anyone can answer this, it is just a question in my brain).

fairdoes 4th January 2007 11:48 AM

If it's any consolation, Google is a little wild a the moment, and temporarily show pages either not indexed or 'supplemental' while they're recalculating.

The last three days showed this for my site

Day Pages indexed
1 631
2 434
3 651

It's a good idea to ignore them once in a while, especially when an update is due (soon?).

If you want to see a really impressive rise in traffic on a new blog, check one of our moderators, initials M McG !! There must be some clues on that blog :D

Old Welsh Guy 4th January 2007 12:19 PM

here is a question for you.

Are you CERTAIN that you are in the supplemental index? I have seen pages come up as supplemenetal in a site: search, but NORMAl in a general search (IE not marked as supplemental. Maybe this is because google has pulled them into the natural SERP's and as such for this phrase is not treating them as SI'ed :(

I gave up trying to work google out with regard the SI a while ago as NOTHING makes sense.

I concurr with the above post with regard high PR and unique content. I have seen 100% unique pages get slung in the SI for no apparent reason. I think it is a case of Google placing a limit on the number of pages 7your site is allowed in the main index, and anything above that gets slung into the SI.

jvance 4th January 2007 12:29 PM

Thanks OWG. Good to see someone else finds this as confusing as I do. No, I am not certain that I am in the supplemental. I was going off Matt's article and using site: search and looking for the "supplemental" text.

Although I had heard of the SI, I guess I never bothered to check it until I read Matt's article. :bonk:

Old Welsh Guy 4th January 2007 05:34 PM

I don't find it confusing as such, more frustrating. The MAIN frustration is the load of rubbish spouted by google themselves with regard the resons for pages going supplemental! They LIE plain and simple ;)

"Pages that we might have had difficulty spidering" YAWN! tell us another lie why don't ya. :D

Logan 5th January 2007 01:54 PM


I gave up trying to work google out with regard the SI a while ago as NOTHING makes sense
While I agree with that in general, the current scenario is a bit different than the usual SI nonsense. Somethings up/amiss from earlier this week. I have witnessed several/many sites that have had SI results primarily for site: search. Some changes, for some sites, with google rankings as well. The sites with changes in rankings typically have the strange SI results when doing a site: search. Lots/primarily SI results when compared to normal. And it appears the SI results are shown first in the site: search and non SI pages afterwards ... so often looks on first impression that all pages are SI. The end result? Nothing still makes sense, but in a differenet sort of way I guess this week. :thud1:

As fairdoes said, probably best just sit tight and see what happens with some time.

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