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April 26, 2007

Rescuing Pages from Google’s Supplemental Index

I found this interesting post from “Dr. Pete” at SEOmoz.org discussing his experience rescuing a client’s website from the vastness of Google’s supplemental index. Pete provided a great deal of detail on how he succeeded with his particular client. In this case the client was definitely in a bad state beforehand where even the most basic SEO strategies were not in place. The most basic fixes he implemented consisted of creating unique Titles and Meta Description Tags which in my opinion would definitely reduce supplemental results.
The gist of his posting is that the following changes seemed to have the most positive results:

  • Shortening and increasing the search engine friendliness of the site’s URLs
  • Apparently when a 404 page was discovered it provided search engines with an improper response – essentially that the page was “A-okay” (a 200 server response). They fixed this issue which allowed many ‘bad’ pages to be removed from Google’s index.

    On a personal note I noticed this same issue with another client of mine recently by reviewing the client’s Google Webmaster Central profile… lots of valuable information can be found within that toolset – be sure to use it!

  • He implemented a robots.txt file to block various parts of the site that provided duplicate content (such as print versions of articles, etc.). The impact on supplemental results appeared to be profound from his standpoint which makes sense. You see supplemental results will often occur when Google notices repetitive content within a website. After all, the supplemental results is by nature meant for results that are already found elsewhere or for pages that offer little or no value to Google.

If you are concerned that your site has too many pages in Google’s supplemental index then I suggest reading and applying the advice in our instructional article “is your website search engine friendly – your personal checklist” because that article digs deep into many of the issues that also cause supplemental index issues.

Auhtor:  Ross Dunn is the founder and CEO of StepForth Search Engine Placement. Celebrating its tenth year in business, StepForth is one of the oldest and most trusted brands in SEO. He can be reached at 1-877-385-5526 (toll free in North America)

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