How should we interpret the Supplemental Results in Google ?
The Google Supplemental results are everybody’s worry these days. I have been looking at some web sites as I mentioned in a previous post just a few days ago and found things had changed since I last taken a close look.
I am seeing a new set of supplemental results that I would call the Google Preppy Award:
I ran a site: command on a Clients web site and viewed the SERPs page after page until finally reaching page 45 (or 46) Google suddenly realized she [IMHO I believe Google to be a female] had gone too far and suddenly stopped and pushed me back to page 36 and gave me the supplemental results message.
I clicked on the give them all to me link and resumed viewing them again – this time I went fast forward 10 pages at a time. It was easy to reach results # 999 and finally 1.000 – it was the only page with the supplemental results tag.
I took a closer look at just that result. Opening the page I noticed the URL – it was static, but the web site is a large Ecommerce dynamic site.
By further exploring the site I found they had made a static sitemap, thinking the dynamic URLs wouldn’t be indexed – but they were. This caused a redundancy of content – duplicate content reported once with a dynamic URL and once with a static one.
It was surprising to see all those web pages listed under the supplemental results umbrella with unique titles, descriptions and content, but without the supplemental results tag.
Maybe these web pages that are just so (similar in some way) but never too too (equal to each other to deserve the supplemental results tag).
Have you seen anything similar when it comes to supplemental results
From the Webmaster Central Blog Vaness Fox elaborates on the SITE: command and how to use it. She then tackles the supplemental results and a flaw in the system:
“Historically, Google has avoided showing pages that appear to be duplicate (e.g., pages with the same title and description) in search results. Our goal is to provide useful results to the searcher. However, with a site: command, searchers are likely looking for a full list of results from that site, so we are making a change to do that. In some cases, a site: search doesn’t show a full list of results even when the pages are different, and we are resolving that issue as well. Note that this is a display issue only and doesn’t in any way affect search rankings. If you see this behavior, simply click the “repeat the search with omitted results included” link to see the full list. The pages that initially don’t display continue to show up for regular queries. The display issue affects only a site: search with no associated query. In addition, this display issue is unrelated to supplemental results. Any pages in supplemental results display “Supplemental Result” beside the URL.
Because this change to show all results for site: queries doesn’t affect search rankings at all, it will probably happen in the normal course of events as we merge this change into the next time that we push a new executable for handling the site: command. As a result, it may be several weeks or so before you start to see this change, but we’ll keep monitoring it to make sure the change goes out. “