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I raise this topic because one of my content sites hardly ever has any of its regular pages in the supplemental results, but the forum (about 3 years old now) has recently started getting more and more topics relegated to the supplemental.
Now, I'm aware of the many issues around forum software and duplicate URL issues and I've pretty much dealt with most of these. Or at least I opted to not fix what wasn't broken at the time - [webmasterworld.com...]
I also wonder if Google gets to a threshold on certain subject areas. For example, if a web site has 250 topics about the same subject (something easily done on an industry specific forum site), then the article/thread had better be a seriously good - and much linked to - topic or it is going into the supplemental. If a Blue Widget site has yet another posting about "Where are the cheapest Blue Widgets", I wouldn't blame Google for burying this. It's not duplicate content by any means - more like yawn here we go again content. ;)
But, I've also noticed that even unique forum topics are increasingly being stuck in the supplemental index and I'm wondering if anyone has noticed and consistency as to why this happens, or whether there are any tactics that people are using to help prevent this?
For example, have you tried using the 'Similar Links' feature in some forum software? I've tried creating static links from elsewhere on the site (similar to the front page of WW), but I'm not sure that this has had much effect.
Any success stories, failures?
One thing I did is interlink all the pages of same topic with each other with the current updates as the anchor text and a small snippet of the content. This I feel regularly forces Google to crawl my site.
Second was building backlinks from similar topic websites and I got a pagerank of 4 from 0 in three months. But the supplemental issue solved after 10 months of Optimization strategy I worked on this site.
It was like in the last three months that I have seen a lot of pages come out of supplemental index. The phenomena is still interesting as I still do not understand what blocks of html content can get you out of that.
I'd like to hear from people who are successfully battling the supplemental war with a forum.
[edited by: Nick0r at 5:11 pm (utc) on June 1, 2007]
Thing is, I've found that my threads are indexed just fine, it's just the supplemental issue that concerns me. The fact that even some threads with static links to them go supplemental makes me wonder if a site map will really help.
SEO optimized forum on new domain.
10 posts in each, all quality and original.
Everything got indexed in short order after i submitted a sitemap to google, about 5 weeks. Zero supplemental but the pages were added to Google at a rate of about 2-3 per day, not all at once.
On week 6 I added a front page link to all 10 topics in one of the categories. I also had a good friend add a static link at the bottom of his forums directly to the main index page that shows the 5 categories.
the result, front page went to PR1 on week 8, main forum index page went supplemental, all articles were in the main index but without PR.
The incoming links (about 14,000 of them) to one page likely were viewed as un-natural and sent the index supplemental BUT the front page and post pages remained out of supplemental.
I shut the site down at that point. All I wanted to know was if the link penalty went sitewide. I didn't in that test.