How To Stay Out Of Google’s Supplemental Index

Google’s Supplemental Index – What You Need To Know

If you run an online website or business you have probably already heard about Google’s Supplemental Index. You may have even heard it being referred to as Google’s Gulag, Google’s Digital Dungeon, or the moniker that seems to have stuck: Google Hell.

Hate it or love it, webmasters are passionate about the big G. There’s no argument on that point for one good reason: Google simply delivers the most search engine traffic on the web. For any webmaster with at least a few white SEO connected brain cells Google can supply 60% or more of their traffic.

Therefore, suddenly getting the majority of your pages thrown into Google’s Supplemental Index can result in a correlating drop in business. A few examples of this were reported in a recent Forbes article by Andy Greenberg entitled “Condemned To Google Hell”.

It recounts how two online jewelry businesses lost traffic and sales by having their pages falling into Google’s Supplemental Index. They speculated on what had caused this to happen: duplicate content? buying links?

Matt Cutts, Google’s main spokesperson (some say pacifier) to worried webmasters everywhere, responded in his own blog:

“Having urls in the supplemental results doesn’t mean that you have some sort of penalty at all; the main determinant of whether a url is in our main web index or in the supplemental index is PageRank.”

However, regardless of what Google maintains, being in the supplemental results is not a good thing for any webmaster or business. Just the fact it’s called a supplemental index means it’s not as important as the main index. This index is seen as duplicate pages, less important or less trusted by Google, thus the lower PR.

All semantics aside, webmasters should try to keep their important web pages out of this supplemental index. Why would anyone be satisfied with having their pages or website buried in dusty boxes in the backroom when they want them displayed on the Front Store Window, preferably in the #1 spot?

Lately, despite webmasters’ wishes, Google seems to be placing more emphasis on the Supplemental Index and putting more pages there. One can only guess, but it may have to do with improving their SERPs – the more relevant Google’s search results become, the higher quality their flagship product will achieve. Or it may just be an easier way of spidering and managing all those countless pages that exist on the web.

Regardless, you do not want your pages in this Supplemental Index unless they are really unimportant pages and these can have the ‘no follow’ attributes in the robots txt file. However, you still need to check this supplemental index for your own pages.

Simple Way To Check Google’s Supplemental Index

You can go to Google search and type in:

replacing ‘yoursite’ with your domain/site to see what pages are indexed in Google’s Supplemental Index.

If you see any important pages there you should check your whole linking structure of your site. Are these pages linked properly? Are they orphaned? Are they well positioned in your internal site architecture? If there are obvious interior linking problems with these pages, fix them.

It is also a good idea to see what percentage of your pages are in this index.

How To Calculate Your Supplemental Index Ratio

You can get your percentage of Supplemental results by dividing the number of pages in the supplemental index by the total number of pages in the main index.

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