Getting Out Of The Google Supplemental Index

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Nathan Metzger of Not So Boring Life sent me an email saying I have over 1,700 pages in Google’s Supplemental Index and I really should try to get out of it.

The Google Supplemental Index is where the unworthy pages end up. According to the above SEO for Firefox plugin, I have 1,790 pages in the supplemental index. This doesn’t mean I have 1,790 unworthy pages. According Nathan’s post on the issue, it means the blog has a lot of duplicate content.

Lots of SEO masters believe that content that isn’t worthy ends up in the supplemental index. While this is certainly true, if you’re running a WordPress blog it is more likely that you’re simply dealing with duplicate content issues. If you make a post today on a default WordPress setup, there are about five different URLs you could type in that would give you the exact same content. You can generally get to the same content via the Category, Calendar, Author, Monthly, and Page archives. Unless you know exactly what you’re doing your site is probably heavily cached in the supplemental index.

Reducing the number of pages in the supplemental index has a positive effect on overall Google traffic. The fewer supplemental pages you have, the more traffic Google sends you. Nathan has seen a 20% increase in his search engine traffic since reducing his supplement pages from 170 to 38.

The way to reduce the number of supplemental page is by telling Google what it can and cannot index. You do this with your robots.txt file. I used Nathan’s file as a starting base and edited it to suit my blog. You can read how everything is done over at Not So Boring Life.

Google already sends me over 2,000 visitors each day. I can’t wait to see the numbers after the supplemental pages have been cleared. Look for an update soon.

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