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This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >     
The Ultimate Fate of Supplemental Results - Google's announcement

 5:20 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)


can anyone explain this? tnx



 6:37 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

The Supplemental Index is a kind of database partition. Google was granted a patent [webmasterworld.com] this year that seems to describe this technology.

Google is now saying that they are going to search the Supplemental Index for all queries, and not just for relatively obscure queries. Currently, I believe this is only true for one, or maybe a few, datacenters, but they are promising it will be rolled out to all datacenters in the near future. I'm not sure about their partner sites like AOL. Up to now, AOL has not ever returned pages from the Supplemental index.

Also not clear: Supplemental urls only received a partial indexing in the past - just the top level elements were searchable, like the title and meta description. In the past, "deep" body content on a supplemental url was not truly indexed in a searchable manner. There's no specific word about this area on the official blog. Perhaps we'll see something over time, or learn through practical examples.

The short version of all that - it will soon be easier to get search traffic to your supplemental urls.

[edited by: tedster at 11:14 pm (utc) on Dec. 19, 2007]


 6:47 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

From a user perspective, this means that you'll be seeing more relevant documents and a much deeper slice of the web, especially for non-English queries. For webmasters, this means that good-quality pages that were less visible in our index are more likely to come up for queries.

There will, and always have been, only 10 results on that first page. Shall we expect to see some shifting of long time position holders? ;)


 7:11 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is great news - if it all works as I read it!
There are a lot of good pages out there let's hope they can now all be seen.

I wonder if this means that some product pages will start appearing again?

Lord Majestic

 7:18 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google is now saying that they are going to search the Supplemental Index for all queries

Ok, I just searched for word "google" and got 1.5 bln results, only top 10 shown and top 1000 are available (you can't get deeper). Does anyone really think that when searching for this word supplemental index will get touched? Zero chance. There is no point doing so because the best candidates from that index won't have higher score than millions of matches from primary index, this also wastes valuable hardware resources doing the job that is pointless. My guess is that what they are trying to say is that they will search supplementals more often than before - probably in case of getting just X matches from main index, before X maybe have to be 0, but now it might be 10000 or even 1 mln.

IMHO of course, but it is based on fairly deep practical research on design of search engines.


 7:30 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

There will, and always have been, only 10 results on that first page.

Funny, my page shows 100 results on that first page.

Check out that funny link on the home page called "preferences".


 7:43 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I doubt that this change will help most supplemental urls show up for any high value searches. There's still the other ranking issues of PR and backlinks, duplicate filtering, establishing trust, etc. However, I'll guess that more long-tail traffic will be possible - especially if (only if?) the search phrase is in the title.

Lord Majestic

 7:47 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Funny, my page shows 100 results on that first page.

Minor point - 10 out of 1,500,000,000 results shown for me, and 100 out of 1,500,000,000 results shown for you, and in any case max of 1000 out of 1,500,000,000 will be shown (on all pages) - in all cases there is no point to search through supplementals which probably contain 90% of those 1,500,000,000 results.

So, I am personally certain that for many top single search queries supplementals will never get touched. However multi-word searching is another matter and this is where supplementals can play bigger role, which is fine, but clearly this is not the same as "search the Supplemental Index for all queries".

travelin cat

 8:50 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ever since the supplementals disappeared, my traffic from Google increased by almost 100%. When checking my stats, I can see a lot of long tail kw combos that I had not seen previously.

Pages that were previously shown as supplemental are now providing ever increasing traffic that is converting very well in to sales.

The increase in traffic started around August of this year.


 10:28 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

What I don't get is that there're folk that believe in 10+

We dropped to 11, and there was a roomer, and there is movement going on, and is there life after 10?

Do you really believe in 10+, now Move whacha ya mamma gave you(:-))

ps, ps ps ps ps... Da bit.


I just don’t believe in a second page due to some plenary reasoned issues.


 10:59 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

It depends on the specific search term. I see some searches where #11 provides steady, significant traffic. On others, you better be top 3.

If this change to searching the supplemental index gives me a #11 instead of a nowhere-at-all, I'll take it!


 11:30 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

This sounds pretty big to me. It appears that Google is going to be able to answer some of the long tail questions more effectively rather than pointing to more "general" information.


 12:22 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't see a bump for long tail traffic looking at my sites. But who knows what happens, lets wait a few days ...

[edited by: SEOPTI at 12:23 am (utc) on Dec. 20, 2007]


 12:46 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

A week or so ago during PubCon, Matt Cutts had this to say in an interview:

The supplemental results, which started out as sometimes being a little out of date, have gotten fresher and fresher and fresher. And at least at one data center - hopefully at more in the future, were already doing those queries on the supplemental result or the supplemental index, for every single query, 100 percent of the time.

So it used to be the case that some small percentage of the time, we would say: oh, this is an arcane query - let’s go and we will do this query even on the supplemental index. And now we are moving to a world where we are basically doing that 100 percent of the time.


So this change still may not be fully deployed to all data centers. Note the Google blog's language yesterday: "Now we're coming to the next major milestone..."


 1:02 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

-- have gotten fresher and fresher and fresher --

Half full or empty?

Pardon for being stubborn.



 1:18 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Are you talking about the supplemental index, blend27? That is the topic of this thread, after all. Supplemental urls used to get spidered every 3 months or so - now they do get spidered more frequently. It's a fair comment from Matt to say that the supplemental index is getting fresher.


 1:47 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

What I am talking about is uri^s that fall into the supplemental index that do not have authority links, well links from "authority" domains to them, and the ones that used to rank within 2 month of the publishing the URI. Not that any other "content reach" uri^s have anything new to say on the subject.

What I see here is a long tail parade, week after week, and no matter what you have in the bag, unless you’re a major shopping network, nothing sticks. I want to know WHY?

They do know who are the constant suppliers of the fresh content, to some extent, don't they?, as in when when it comes to particular subject, or am I wrong totally...


 2:21 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is more damage control babbling.

Google attempts to become Microsft: search engine by press release.

The fact of the matter is the supplemental index has been an incompetent bonehead idea from the get go, and there has not been one positive thing to come from it, ever.

All this talk about "esoteric" is just deliberate falsehood. Google needs to stop lying about the supplemental index. PR3 pages on otherwise healthy, highly-valued domains that rank #1 for straightforward queries currently go to oblivion when they drop into the supplemental index. In no way does the page become more obscure or the query more esoteric... the page just disappears. This is especially an issue on non-English Googles.

The status quo with many supplementals NOW is while they can be seen in site:example.com site searches, they do not show up at all for queries, even ones for "specific long strings of text in quotes". The pages are NOT indexed for searches to find.

Please spare us yet another pile of doodle about improving the supplemental index. Get rid of the fool thing, and answer people's queries with the best page the algorithm can find.

Until they do that, this nutty "Oh Windows Me is going to be so cool" junk is just more deliberate "do evil" on Google's part.


 3:45 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well said steveb.

So which DC is operating without the supplemental part? (if there is one)


 1:55 pm on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey guys

I used a 'Supplemental Index Ratio Calculator' to determine the SI content.

With the 'www' on the site name, it showed a 52.68% of the total Google-indexed pages as being SI pages (141 pages in the main index, 157 pages in SI)

I removed the www and did the calculation again, and it showed 100% of the pages (298 pages) as being in the main index.

So I removed the www in the URL at Wordpress dashboard, and looking for traffic from Google searches. It's been about five hours now, and can't see any change yet, but it may be too early to see any.

What is happening here? Will removing the www help in any way?



 5:49 pm on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

and decoupled it from which index a document was stored in, and once these "supplementalization effects" were gone, the "supplemental result" tag itself—which only served to suggest that otherwise good documents were somehow suspect—was eliminated a few months ago.

Some hard core Googlespeak here; I read this as, if you remove the supplemental tag, then voila, it’s not supplemental anymore.


 8:25 pm on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

To find supplementals you need to use /* at end. Works only on root or one directory deep.

Some say that the numbers do not match up.
For all my sites I noticed that only non-supplemental pages (thos that appear for the /* search) bring traffic. So this method to check them is 100% true for me. And I've been watching it closely. The moment a page pops out, traffic starts to come. When it does in supplementals traffic dies. And in the last month ... the pages pop in and out like crazy.

We'll see now what happens but I'd like to see on what DCs you see no more supplementals. I see no changes for the moment.


 11:36 pm on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

You can use


the result is exactly the same.


 12:25 am on Dec 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Would it be true to say that, at the present time, no one has found an actual data centre the exhibits the behaviour described by Google?

No visible changes so far makes me think that the Googleplex fog just got even thicker.



 12:36 am on Dec 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Note: you can do a site: search on AOL and get only results from Google's regular index - no need for /* or any of that. Removing the visible "supplemental result" tag did not remove the actual index.

Also, Matt Cutts said that one datacenter was already live with the new code, and that others will follow. I haven't bothered to try to figure it out - whatever will happen that has practical value will become clear soon enough.


 1:05 am on Dec 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

About AOL, there something diff. about results. I just searched for my domain name and homepage is missing if i just search for it, as well as the main keyword combinations. I asked about it about a month ago in SF.

I also searched on <a broadband ISP> which is also the same "enhanced by google", same story.

I am not experiencing any issues at the moment on google.com, at all.

am I missing something here?


[edited by: tedster at 1:14 am (utc) on Dec. 21, 2007]


 7:39 am on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

"There are a lot of good pages out there let's hope they can now all be seen."

There's 1000 times as many bad pages out there, and now they'll all be making a comeback...


 9:16 am on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is no reason to suspect that. The supplemental index does nothing to inspect quality, only linking or updating or whatever.

If the supplemental index was abandoned, not a single bad page should start ranking, except to degree any bad page ranks.

The supplemental index now primarily prevents solid PR3ish pages on trusted domains from ranking. Crappy PR0 autogenerated junk will still be crappy autogenerated junk that the algo won't like if the supp index disappeared.


 11:00 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I did some tests and I think the DC which we look for is


 11:44 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think I am not understanding something here. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

I regularly have checked my supplemental results because I sometimes found that pages were in there because someone somewhere was using the content without my permission, and when I remedied that, the page would eventually come out of supplemental Limbo. One time I got a little over enthusiastic about optimizing some pages and got them out by kicking them down a notch. After they got rid of the supplemental listing, I just looked at the last 100 results and tried duplicate content searches for pages that I kept updated and therefore thought should be doing okay.

Today I tried this /* thing and discovered that indeed, the last page of results is supplemental. Yet I can find those pages by doing a search on the terms on those pages, and most of these pages are only PR2. So I don't understand what people are saying. In my experience supplemental meant that the page was inaccessible to search--I proved it to myself many times when checking to see results for my keywords. But I don't see that now. From what I can see, these pages are accessible to search. What gives?

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