Supplemental Results

By Ross Dunn – October 02, 2006

Question: “Supplementary Results”

Hey, I have been searching around forums and such, trying to get an answer and can’t seem to find one. What determines whether pages get sent to the supplemental or omitted results section of Google? The closest info I could find is that means that there is duplicate content. However, on my reciprocal links pages, there is no unique content as I’m sure those links are posted on many hundreds of other websites duplicated across the web. What can I do to get my currently “omitted results” pages into the main index section of Google? Thanks in advance for your help.

Answer:

This is a great question and one that, astonishingly, I have never been asked which made it even more fun to answer. First, however, I want to provide a little background for readers that may not be familiar with this topic.

    What is a Supplemental Result?
    Supplemental results are generally pages that Google has determined to be secondary to other, more relevant pages that Google has indexed on your website. In effect, supplementary results are actually a secondary database of results that are only called upon when the most obscure queries force Google to check all its indexed resources.

    What is an Omitted Result?
    Omitted results are supplemental results that are not listed within your search results because they are even less relevant than the supplemental results shown.

Does Your Site Have Supplemental Results?

If your site has more than a few pages it is very likely you do have supplemental pages in Google. To find out if you do just go to Google and type in the query shown in red (including the asterisks): site:www.yourdomain.com ***

This search will provide you with a listing of all supplemental and omitted results for your website.

What Determines if a Page Will Become a Supplemental Result?

An indexed page becomes a supplementary result when it is less relevant than other page(s) in your website. As a result, the best way to avoid supplemental pages is by ensuring that every page within your site uses unique content and provides excellent and relevant information. This way you will have a better chance of having Google determine that your pages are second to none. Note that this does, by no means, guarantee you will not have supplemental pages. After all, you may have a page with “A+” content and a page devoted to a similar topic with “A” content. In this case the lesser page may still become supplemental because no matter how good it is, it is still second to the better one.

Should You Consider Supplementary Results Bad?

In general supplementary results should be avoided because they are pages less likely to be found in a search engine. If, however, your website has been finely crafted and you can see that your supplementary results still represent good quality pages you may simply be a victim of Google’s need to perform content triage; picking only the best content and leaving the others to fade into supplementary purgatory.

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