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The Google Supplemental Index Has Not Existed In A Dozen Years

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The Google Supplemental Index Has Not Existed In A Dozen Years

Over the past several days I have noticed a bunch of SEOs sharing information about the Google supplemental index and talking SEO strategies related to it. Just as a PSA, the Google supplemental index has not been in existence for a dozen or so years now.

Today, in 2022, there is no such thing as the Google Supplemental Index.

Yes, pre-2010, Google maintained two indexes for technical reasons. The main index was updated more frequently and faster and the supplemental index was for pages of lower importance that didn’t need to be updated as quickly. Generally, pages in the main index would rank higher in Google Search than pages in the supplemental index. And Google would generally only rank pages in the supplemental index if it couldn’t find good matches in the main index.

In fact, Google use to label search results that came from the supplemental index, as such. Here is a screenshot I posted back in 2007 with this label:

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In December 2007, Google started to hide the supplemental index label, stating “We improved the crawl frequency and decoupled it from which index a document was stored in, and once these “supplementalization effects” were gone, the “supplemental result” tag itself—which only served to suggest that otherwise good documents were somehow suspect— was eliminated a few months ago. Now we’re coming to the next major milestone in the elimination of the artificial difference between indices: rather than searching some part of our index in more depth for obscure queries, we’re now searching the whole index for every query.”

Then in 2009 Google started testing a new indexing method called Caffeine and in 2010, Google launched Caffeine fully. With that launch, Google stopped using the supplemental index all together. Heck, Google still uses Caffeine today

In any event, John Mueller of Google was asked to confirm that the supplemental index is not longer and he said on Twitter it’s safe to say that index from 2003 is now enjoying the great bit-bucket in the sky.”

So don’t let anyone confuse you or set you off in the wrong direction – Google’s index works differently than it did pre-2010 than it does post-2010 and there is no supplemental index anymore.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Says If You Redesign Your Site Your Rankings May Go Nuts

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Google Waves

Gary Illyes from the Google Search Relations team posted another PSA on LinkedIn. This time he said, “when you redesign a site, its rankings in search engines may go nuts.”

Yes, this is probably super obvious to most of you reading this site but Gary dives a bit deeper.

He said, “Among other things, search engines use the HTML of your pages to make sense of the content. If for example you break up paragraphs, remove H tags in favor of CSS styling, or add breaking tags (especially true for CJK languages), you change the HTML parsers’ output, which in turn may change the site’s rankings.”

In short, when redesigning, sure – go ahead – make the site pretty. But changing the core HTML can result in ranking changes.

Gary recommends, “try to use semantically similar HTML when you redesign the site and avoid adding tags where you don’t actually need them.”

So if you can change the design but at the same time keep things in the HTML looking similar, that is your best bet. Change a lot without changing a lot – if that makes sense.

Forum discussion at LinkedIn.

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Yandex Search Ranking Factors Leaked & Exposed

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Yandex Leak

Yandex had a boatload of its source code across all its technology allegedly leaked by a disgruntled employee and part of that was the source code for Russia’s largest search engine – Yandex. As you can imagine, SEOs and others are diving in and seeing what they can learn from the source code.

I personally did not download the source code, so I did not go through it myself but I wanted to share what people did find via Twitter from their investigations of the source code.

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Will this help you do SEO on Google? Probably not but hey, it is super interesting.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.



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Unconfirmed Google Update Impacting Product Reviews Sites On January 26th

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Google Product Reviews Update

On Thursday, January 26th, there were some signs of a possible Google search ranking algorithm update. The signals and chatter I was tracking, honestly, were not at super high levels. However, now that I see Glenn Gabe shared some really shocking charts of sites previously impacted by Google updates but now seeing a big swing. This is not necessarily a product reviews update but rather sites in the product reviews space that are seeing massive swings on the 26th.

Let me first share Glenn’s charts, which he posted on Twitter and said, “Heads-up, run a product reviews site? Google pushed something on 1/26 that, once again, impacted some product review sites HEAVILY. These are sites I’ve documented before with crazy surges/drops, even outside of Product Reviews Updates. Let’s see if this sticks. I hope it does.”

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Here is that tweet:

Starting on the 25th, I began to see limited chatter kick into gear at WebmasterWorld. The chatter there was not specific to the product reviews update but it could have been related to it. Here are some quotes from there:

My site has been climbing rankings all week and yet today the traffic has been dismal (UK). Do I smell an update?

My ranks, as I said, have been getting better after being in decline steadily since this time last year. I haven’t done anything to improve. Could this mean that google are indeed looking at different ranking signals, not just links? I could have gained a link or two that has turned it around I suppose but no evidence so far.

After great improvement over the month of January, got a big bang down since January 24 onwards. Changes again?

Definitely, something is wrong with Google. My traffic is going down without any reason. Are there any delays with Analytics?

I don’t know what’s going on, but my website has been in free fall for a week now. And it’s the usual picture again, old news articles or meaningless keyword spam ranks in my area on the top places. It’s really no fun anymore …

Google Tracking Tools

Here are what the tracking tool are showing:

Mozcast:

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Semrush:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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RankRanger:

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Accuranker:

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SERPmetrics:

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Algoroo:

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So the tools are not lighting up but this update may have been something tweaked with the product reviews update, or a new update impacting product review sites or limited to those segments of websites?

Have any of you seen any big changes around January 26th?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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