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Thread: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

  1. #1
    Moderator mjtaylor's Avatar
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    Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    I believe the hoo-ha over pages in the supplementals is based on an outdated concept. I have several sites which now have a larger proportion of pages in the SI than before; these are not duplicate content pages, but pages with similar listings, such as real estate listing detail pages and vacation rental listings. It makes sense to me that these pages are in the supplementals, as they generally have only one link to them from a menu page.

    The greater proportion of pages in the SI has not affect my sites SERPs or traffic. I wouldn't expect those pages to come up for the more competitive terms, but some rank well for longer tailed terms, just as they did before.

    I know this is 'old news', but since many webmasters still seem overly alarmed by pages in the SI, I think Matt Cutt's post last January bears excerpting (bold are my addition):

    As a reminder, supplemental results aren’t something to be afraid of; I’ve got pages from my site in the supplemental results, for example. A complete software rewrite of the infrastructure for supplemental results launched in Summer o’ 2005, and the supplemental results continue to get fresher. 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. If you used to have pages in our main web index and now they’re in the supplemental results, a good hypothesis is that we might not be counting links to your pages with the same weight as we have in the past. The approach I’d recommend in that case is to use solid white-hat SEO to get high-quality links (e.g. editorially given by other sites on the basis of merit).

    I think going forward, you’ll continue to see the supplemental results get even fresher, and website owners may see more traffic from their supplemental results pages. To check out the current freshness of the supplemental results, I grabbed 20 supplemental pages from my site and checked out their crawl date using the “cache:” command and looking in the cached page header. The oldest supplemental results page that I saw was from September 7th, 2006 (and I only saw 2-3 pages from September; most were from December or November). The most recent of the 20 pages was from January 7, 2007, which shows that supplemental results can be quite fresh at this point.

    That said, I am not suggesting that having pages in the SI is a good thing, just that it is not the death knell that it was once believed to be. Here are some ways to get pages out of the SIs:
    • ensure the content is unique
    • add fresh content
    • make sure all pages have unique title and meta description tags;
    • obtain high quality, trusted links;
    • restructure or create more internal links;
    • link out to relevant authority sites;
    • check for broken links;
    • make sure you have no canonical issues.
    Please feel free to add any tips for getting out of the supplementals ... or to disagree.

    Cheers, MJ
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  2. #2
    WebProWorld MVP incrediblehelp's Avatar
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    Re: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    My favorite reasons that pages go SI:

    1. Exactly duplicated content
    2. Over the top content/structure similarities
    3. Pages with little or no content
    4. Orphaned web pages. Pages that no one links to, including internal navigation
    5. Poor website navigation
    6. Pages due to canonicalization problems
    7. Not enough quality back links
    8. Long URLs, especially with long parameters, starting with a question mark (?) and being separated with an ampersand (&) and are not rewritten
    9. Suspicious pages for spam-indexing, like non-unique and irrelevant to page content Meta tags, or linking to bad neighborhoods, etc.
    10. Using duplicate description tags and title attribute across your website

    So simply not doing these things will help keep you out.

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    Re: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    Hi MJ

    Thanks for the notification on this, good topic.

    The Matt Cutts wording "I think going forward, you’ll continue to see the supplemental results get even fresher." was surely a Google hint. Unless many rational people are misreading their figures, a higher percentage of pages have recently hit the supplemental, regardless of other issues. I'm less sure about the "website owners may see more traffic from their supplemental results pages." I take your point about long tail searches but have been struggling lately to see many of these work, on quite a few sites.

    In truth , I do not actually know whether calling up supplemental pages has become harder, just an impression. If anyone has recently collected specific data on this, that would be helpful. Particularly if that could be compared to historic information.

    Must confess, I do prefer real data to impressions where possible and by coincidence, am currently running an experiment on getting pages out of the supplemental, with the kind help of a friend's site. We created a few pages at various levels of crudiness, knowing they'd go supplemental and have recently begun specific but different changes to each. Content, internal linking, IBLs etc. to see which is effective and with what speed.

    However well you monitor site data, still hard to give exact opinion on which of many aspects were the telling factor but we'll hopefully get close. Should any clear information come out of this, I'll post an outline if that's of interest.

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    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    Re: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Palindrome View Post

    In truth , I do not actually know whether calling up supplemental pages has become harder, just an impression. If anyone has recently collected specific data on this, that would be helpful. Particularly if that could be compared to historic information.
    I think you kind find here what you are looking for: Big changes at Googles algorithms? Or did I miss something?

    Read carefully the posts of the forum member BabyChicken4u2 there.
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    Re: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    Thank you Webnauts, an interesting thread, with much to be gleaned.

    Controlled IBLs, quality versus number etc. is part of what we are charting. Along with other options, both as additions to basic beliefs and in case they are wrong.

    A little like the redundant tables, we'll never come up with an exact formula, in a field with so many variables. Even if we did, not sure about the lifetime of any benefits, can't escape a feeling that the rate of change within search engines is picking up.

  6. #6

    Re: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    We tend to think of one size fits all. I have real estate sites that generate 55 unique visitors per day. The supplimental pages generate 4-7 UV a week. But my average commission check is five figures and that is more than enough traffic for me. The main body pulls in buyers the supplimental pages pull in sellers. The main site is Florida Gulf Coast Condo Report- FL condos for sale. It would be of little value to think this way if I was selling $5 items but when your selling $500k and up its sufficient.
    Life is short; enjoy the journey.

  7. #7

    Re: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtaylor View Post
    ...That said, I am not suggesting that having pages in the SI is a good thing, just that it is not the death knell that it was once believed to be. Here are some ways to get pages out of the SIs:
    • ensure the content is unique
    • add fresh content
    • make sure all pages have unique title and meta description tags;
    • obtain high quality, trusted links;
    • restructure or create more internal links;
    • link out to relevant authority sites;
    • check for broken links;
    • make sure you have no canonical issues.
    Please feel free to add any tips for getting out of the supplementals ... or to disagree.

    Cheers, MJ
    MJ, your list can be titled, "What Every Website Author Should Be Doing" - or, "Web Designing 101"

    I couldn't agree more...actually - how does one "agree more" anyway
    Learn about Hidden Content and Hidden Content , then pop over to the Hidden Content !

  8. #8
    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    Re: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    Quote Originally Posted by espmartin View Post
    MJ, your list can be titled, "What Every Website Author Should Be Doing" - or, "Web Designing 101"

    I couldn't agree more...actually - how does one "agree more" anyway
    Martin, IncrebibleHelp would confirm that I posted such a list about supplementals many times here the last two years, but never got credited that way. I am just wondering why?

    Here is mine once again:Check how many of your pages are in the supplemental results with this tool: Supplemental Index Ratio Calculator
    Hidden Content Forensic SEO & Social Semantic Web Consultant | My personal blog Hidden Content

  9. #9
    WebProWorld MVP incrediblehelp's Avatar
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    Re: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    John is right, lots of my SI rules/items are from Johns list as well. He knows the SI to much, LOL

  10. #10
    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    Re: Supplementals: Not What They Used To Be & Tips for Getting Out

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtaylor View Post
    The greater proportion of pages in the SI has not affect my sites SERPs or traffic. I wouldn't expect those pages to come up for the more competitive terms, but some rank well for longer tailed terms, just as they did before.
    It would be nice if you could back that up with evidence based facts (statistics), otherwise I consider what you are claiming not credible at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtaylor View Post
    I know this is 'old news', but since many webmasters still seem overly alarmed by pages in the SI, I think Matt Cutt's post last January bears excerpting (bold are my addition)
    This guy told us so many stories that after a while came out that were not true. And this story is one of them. If you look around at searchenginetable, digitalpoint, webmasterworld and other places, you will see that is not only my opinion. And thanks God for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtaylor View Post
    Please feel free to add any tips for getting out of the supplementals ... or to disagree.

    Cheers, MJ
    I added my tips I am preaching here since I guess too years too. And I disagree that supplemental are not same or worse than before.
    Google is more sensitive than ever before, so it is easier to go in the supplemental than ever before. And supplemental pages don't rank! A lot of evidence (statistics/numbers) are posted at CTabuk forums here: Big changes at Googles algorithms? Or did I miss something?
    Hidden Content Forensic SEO & Social Semantic Web Consultant | My personal blog Hidden Content

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