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Supplemental results what they are and how to avoid them

By: Joe Balestrino at Mr SEO Inc.

Submitted on Thu, Apr 26th, 2007 12:00 am

Supplemental results are becoming an epidemic for many online website owners. Pages that fall into the supplemental index could stay there for months. The could stay their indefinitely unless you take action to get them out.

What are supplemental results?
Supplemental results are Google's way of preventing questionable pages from being found in the main index. Supplemental results are usually shown after the main results. Supplemental results are crawled less and not trusted by Google, which is why the are supplemental.

Can pages in the supplemental index rank on Google?
Yes, they can. But only if there aren't any other results available for the phrase being searched.

You can check how many of your pages are in the supplemental by typing in to Google: site:www.yoururl.com *** -mrseo

You can also use this free online tool. http://oy-oy.eu/google/supplemental/ This tool lets you check your supplemental results across all of Google's data centers. It can give you a better indication if more or less of your pages are falling in or out of the supplemental results.

What can cause a page to be added to the supplemental index and not the main?
Supplemental status, the majority of the time, is something new sites encounter. However, if you have given Google a reason not to trust your site or content, you can also be placed in the supplemental results. Any of the following can also cause you to hit the supplemental results:

- Not enough content on the page
- Duplicate content
- Pages not linked to from the menu.
- Too many query strings in the URL
- Orphaned pages... Pages not linked to any other inside your site
- Titles and descriptions the same on every page
- All links to your site are reciprocals and possibly to bad neighbors
- A page that no longer exists may have an old cached version of itself in the supplemental listings

Any of these alone or a combination of these can cause your pages to be in the supplemental index. Keeping these factors in mind when creating pages will help you avoid it. A good example of a site that is a prone target for getting into the supplemental is an e-commerce sites. These site's generally
have have long query strings and are filled with duplicated product listings on different pages.

Are supplemental results bad for my site?
Almost every site will have a few pages in the supplemental. There is no need to panic. Some pages are fine in the supplemental. Pages with a lot of pages wouldn't rank well/ so being in the supplemental is ok. However, if your site's main pages are in the supplemental, you do have a problem. E-commerce sites typically fall into the supplemental due to bad site structure and lay out. Also many e-commerce sites use the same product descriptions as the manufacturer. The problem there is, the same descriptions shows up on every other distributors website. You may not care about those pages as a source of traffic. However, if you took the time to write unique copy for those pages you could capture a lot of additional traffic.

Facts:
If you are in the supplemental, you are being crawled.
You are not in the main index. You need to take action to get out of the supplemental index.

Once you have made the corrections, be patient. Google indexes supplemental pages less. Working on backlinks to these pages may help.

If you have any other problems getting out of the supplemental index, try asking on forums or obtaining info from SEO podcasts.

About the Author

Joe Balestrino
Mr SEO Inc.
Joe runs Mr SEO Inc. Joe is recognized as a leader in SEO. TO hire Joe or his company visit hi site at http://www.mr-seo.com

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