The Supplemental Search Engine

You can see millions of web pages which are defined as “Supplemental results” in Google search results. What does a “Supplemental result” mean? Generally nothing. It is just another “Google rule” set by the search engine in its efforts to set “standards” in web browsing.

“Suplemental result” is a mark placed on pages that Google defines as irrelevant or at least less relevant to anything, including any specific search term. It is simple to see a example.

There are thousands of web pages related to a search term “web hosting blog”, but you can not find even a “supplemental” ones in Google’s search results. So let’s say it different way. If Google for some reason decides your content is not good enough it marks most of your pages as supplemental ones and excludes them from it search results. And you don’t receive visitors.

How does Google define “Supplemental”?

In a subcategory in one of its FAQ pages titled “Google Information for Webmasters” Google offers an explanation to web site owners who would ask why are their web sites labeled as “supplemental”?

The Search engines says: “Supplemental sites are part of Google’s auxiliary index. We’re able to place fewer restraints on sites that we crawl for this supplemental index than we do on sites that are crawled for our main index. For example, the number of parameters in a URL might exclude a site from being crawled for inclusion in our main index; however, it could still be crawled and added to our supplemental index.”

So let’s make this clear. Any web page can be added to Google auxiliary index with no explanation and no guidelines how to get them excluded from this one and to get them back in the main index that serves the results from web search.

The web pages from the auxiliary index appear only on search terms which are not “important” and when there are very few matches for them at the main index. If your pages are defined as supplemental, that means they are not searchable. This means they will not receive visitors. Therefore they “don’t exists”.

Google says something is wrong with your web site

If you see your web page included in the Suplemental results, that means there is something wrong with your web pages. Or at least Google says so, because the things are completely different in Yahoo and MSN. To be honest however I can say that Google has  point.

Most web site owners keep the directories under their domain names very messy. There are many people who don’t know that the search engines and Google in particular, index web pages that are not “visible” for the public. A page can be indexed even if no one links it.

That’s why it is better to keep our subdirectories clean from any files that are not a part of our web presentation. Anything including any kind of old files can harm your web site visibility. If you have a few dozens of web pages that are not relevant to the web site content or just present general information that you don’t need, then it is a good idea to delete them.

The last I can say on this issue is stick to the topic, and don’t distract your own and others attention with irrelevant information and data.

Setting the Rules?

Who has set the Rules? The same who changed them – Google. The worst that may happen already happened! Google’s monopoly on the search engine market put this company in position to claim it was allowed to set standards in web browsing. And to guide web surfers’. Google directs not only the search results but consumers’ and advertisers’ behavior and tells business owners what they shall do with their web sites.

The point is that there are millions of web pages with good content which are marked as second-hand by the Search engine, only because they do not follow its guidelines. There thousands of examples when the search engine has been precise in its judgement on different web sites. But this is not something Google should be praised for. The reality is different. Google’s monopoly influences the moves web surfers make and that’s why every new guideline, and policy change reflects on the online market.

Leaving Google as “Sole authority” on the Search Engine market is something that will not produce good results. If you do not believe me ask the relatives of the Tiananmen victims. I doubt they feel happy of Google decision to impose a censorship on its own search results on any “tiananmen victims” related search terms. Google did that it only to reach commercial multi-million deal with Chinese government. What happend to the principles of free speech? The same that now happens to millions of web sites. They just gone supplemental!

About the Author

Dimitar A.
Dimitar is founder of the global Cloud & Infrastructure Hosting provider & European Cloud IaaS company RAX. He has two Decades-long experience in the web hosting industry and in building and managing Cloud computing infrastructure and IT ecosystems. Dimitar is also political scientist who has published books "The New American State" and "The New Polity". "The New American State" is one of the best current political books. It is focused on the change of the American political process. It offers a perspective on how the fourth industrial revolution, also called the Digital Revolution and Industry 4.0, marks the beginning of an era of deterritorialization.