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The Supplemental Index - A One Way Street?

Has anyone escaped the SI?



5:05 am on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has anyone had a site 'relegated' to the supplemental results, then had that site returned to the regular index?

If so, what actions did you take?

Why do Supplemental Results appear above regular results? - Supplemental Question


2:49 pm on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I had three sites relegated to the SI. They were then stable for several months and recently those remaining pages have been slowly dropping out. None of the sites have recovered at all. From my experience, it is the kiss of slow lingering death.


3:30 pm on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I had a client whose site fell into SI hell. It was a wild ride.

He has a very small site, less than 40 pages. At first, most of the pages were just Supplimental Results cached many months ago, and then the pages started to fall into Partially Indexed status where all you could find in the index were the page's URLs. His main page fell out of the index entirely.

I "solved" the problem by cleaning up the Dreamweaver bloat on the main page and a dozen internals, adding a handful of high quality links to the site, and periodically pestering help@google.com with polite pleas for assistance.

It took about 6 weeks, but the site gradually came back to fully indexed and well-ranked. So, he's happy as a clam and thinks I'm a genius, and I'm almost completely certain that Google resolved this situation automagically and completely oblivious to my efforts.

So many people are reporting that their site is partially indexed, that I think its something that is going to become a part of life as Google's index grows. I'm not a believer in the "Google is max'ed out and fundamentally broken" theories, but I would not be surprised that their current system of rolling updates does allow smallish sites and obscure pages in larger sites to fall into this state without cause or warning, and that its only due to Google's irregular reconciliation processes that you recover.


4:38 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My site was demoted to the SI, which prompted me to ask the question, googlebot hadn't visited in months, so, I changed the pagenames (PR has been abandoned) and added a single adsense block to each page.

Result - googlebot is lapping up the pages, and they are beginning to reappear in the SERPS without the dreaded Supplemental Result tag.

I don't believe it was a penalty that pushed the site to the SI in the first place.


10:05 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Has anyone had a site 'relegated' to the supplemental results, then had that site returned to the regular index?

Earlier this year I had a site which began to disappear from the index, with an increasing number of pages showing up as supplemental results, losing their snippets, and showing as urls only. The situation was getting worse daily.

If so, what actions did you take?

a) Panicked!

b) Calmed down and investigated if there was anything I might have done to cause the problem. Usually supplemental results indicate orphan pages, which indicates a navigation issue.

Fortunately I found the cause when I checked the Google caches for the affected pages and found they were empty except for the <head> info. A logic error on my part meant that although all browsers were served the pages correctly, spiders were not getting any content. As the content included navigation all the pages were falling into orphan status, and hence becoming supplemetal. I corrected it, but it took a couple of months before all the pages were reindexed as normal.

I suspect inadvertent navigation problems are often the cause. For example I found a supplemental page (not my site) which was perfectly normal and had a link back to the home page. But finding the supplemental page from the home page was impossible. There was a page in the chain that had so many links (thousands!) that it was difficult to load and Googlebot probably gave up.


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