Howling for Supplemental Results

Michael Gray, BKA GrayWolf, once again shares insight that goes beyond SEO Chatter to SEO Practice. (Whenever I see a GrayWolf post, I imagine his voice saying, “Okay, Kiddies! Listen up!”) 

When I first began tinkering in the world of SEO, one of the things I heard, too often, was, “You have a lot of pages in the Supplemental Index on Google.” Immediately, my thought was how do I get those pages out of Supplemental Indexing (hint: making sure <meta> Title & Description tags were used properly was a great place for me to start!)? After that, I realized quite quickly that the Supplemental Index was my resource for knowing which of my pages Google (and, I presumed, probably the other search engines, too) did not particularly like. Needless to say, attacking the Supplemental Index pages acknowledged by Google significantly increased organic visibility across the board (Yahoo! and MSN showed increases, too, but not as significantly as G).

But, Google took away Supplemental Index results. There went my data resource! Clumsily, I tried checking cache dates, but sometimes the cache date *I* saw was not, necessarily the most accurate information; so it was pointless. (Check your bot activity in your server logs vs. actual cache dates of those same pages on MSN and Google. My experience shows minor discrepancies and a metric like the one I was going for needed much more conformity.) I tried tracking linking references reported in Google and Yahoo! (but everytime an algo changed, so did my data!) but a site of 3,000+ indexed pages generates some extremely large link reports and I wasn’t going to get all the data I needed, anyway! I needed to know, with certainty, *what* was being crawled, when it was crawled, and weather or not that page was organically ranking for any traffic.

But (GrayWolf even points out the ‘eureka’ moment) Michael has given me that information back!

And that, boys and girls, is professional SEO in action! Many, many thanks Mr. Gray!

Disclaimer: Any SEO technique that really takes 60+ days to offer up any significant data or rank movement is worth looking into. Good SEO takes TIME, so don’t pass over good techniques for ‘quick’ techniques. (If you don’t believe me, check out the folks on Twitter who were counting on their bio page to give them rank. It worked, until Twitter changed its methodology. Think of all that wasted time…)

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Posted on September 10th, 2008 



When Google took away the supplemental index last year, they killed one of the key diagnostic tools in the SEO’s toolbox, the ability to identify which parts of a site were unimportant (and being infrequently crawled) in a search engines eyes.
To tell what pats of a site google (or any search engine for that matter) thinks are important what you need is a way of date tagging when the last time a search engine visited/indexed the page. It’s not important to know that it was crawled 16:42:03 on September 8, 2008, it’s important to know that it’s been over 30/60/90 days since a search engine visited that page.
One of the problems with this method is if you have pages that aren’t being crawled now it may be a while before they are crawled with the new date code keyword phrase stamp.
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