A week after Google announced that the “Supplemental Results” label will no longer be used to identify organic search results that have been pulled from the supplemental index, the general feeling across the SEO and webmaster community seems to be one of disappointment, as these lables helped marketers to quickly identify pages that weren’t faring as well in the Google index.
One of the comments on the Official Google Webmaster Central blog sums up the feelings of most webmasters quite well, “Aside from making it much harder for webmasters to see how Google views the importance of pages on our websites, what exactly will this accomplish? How can this move possibly improve user experience?”
While most search engine marketers perceive this as a move intended to reduce the amount of information made available to webmasters in their attempts to reduce the number of supplemental pages on their site, others think it is a good thing, as it removes focus from supplemental results and forces search marketers to pay attention to “more important things” – though few mention what they consider to be more important in the world of search marketing than ensuring that a website’s content gets indexed and ranked by Google!
Does this eliminate the problem with supplemental pages?
Even though the listings will no longer be labeled as “supplemental results”, the pages will still be treated by Google as if they were not as important as pages in the main index. In their own words, website owners will “continue to benefit from Google’s supplemental index being deeper and fresher”. This only means that supplemental pages will now be indexed and cached more frequently than they used to in the past. It doesn’t however change the fact that their lack of PR, inbound links and authority or relevance in Google’s eyes will continue to make them secondary results that get lower priority in ranking than pages in the main index.