Supplemental Index Fuzzier Than Ever

On and other DCs, the supplemental pages cache dates no longer go all the way back to Aug 2005. But the new “system” makes it even harder to tell why a page is listed in the supplemental index, because now you’re required to jump over at least two major hurdles to break out of supplemental hell: 1) duplicate content issues (i.e. identical meta tags, multiple urls resolving to the same content, www/non-www, etc) and 2) “Trust” / PageRank. A perfectly structured page with original content could remain stuck in the supplemental index if a domain lacks juice.

Here’s how I see it going down (warning: pure speculation):

function refresh_supplemental_hell_cache($domain_name) {

$supplemental_urls = new Urls_in_Supplemental_Hell($domain_name);
foreach($supplemental_urls->urls as $screwed_url) {
$page = file_get_contents($screwed_url->url);
$mysqlupdate(”UPDATE supplemental_hell SET content=”$page”, cache_date=NOW() WHERE url = \”$screwed_url\”);


That’s all Google needs to run to refresh the supplemental cache. Then Google re-evaluates each page as if it just found it. Depending on PageRank, trust, number of pages, and multitude of other factors, Google inserts some pages back into the main index, while keeping others out.

Conclusion: When your mom ‘n pop site is 99.99% supplemental, it’s no longer enough just to “fix your site.” You also need to get Google to trust you enough to re-list those supplemental pages back in the main index.

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2 Responses to “Supplemental Index Fuzzier Than Ever”

  1. Whenever I read an excellent article, I make a point of it to click on a few ads. :)

    Thank for your help on my supp issue.
    I have fixed all issues but page rank, that comes next.

  2. No problem :)

    When looking for juice, keep in mind you want links that Google trusts and are relevant to your site. Link exchanges, paid links, and link injection may help you, but you also want to think of viral tactics that increase the pace of a site’s natural link growth.

    A good site turns its visitors into marketers.

    Of course, you also want to aim at a healthy balance between artificial vs organic links. Having a high percentage of artificial links may lead Google to mistrust you and start devaluing perfectly good, editorial links. On the other hand, Google may overlook a few artificial links here and there if your link profile looks natural overall.

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