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    Question What happened to Google hiding the supplemental results from webmasters (sljktf)?


    There was talk of Google hiding the supplemental results from webmasters (using site:wwwdotyourdomaindotcom *** -sljktf) maybe a month ago. I don't think this was discussed here, but I read a few articles about it.

    It looks like it still works to me.

    Does anyone know of any developments about this? Will this happen? Why would Google want to do this anyway?
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    Matt Cutts spoke about this very thing in a Pubcon interview: www.stephanspencer.com/search-engines/matt-cutts-interview
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    Originally Posted by JagNet
    Matt Cutts spoke about this very thing in a Pubcon interview: www.stephanspencer.com/search-engines/matt-cutts-interview
    Great interview, but I don't see any type of definitive answer. In fact when I search with the *** sljktf it seems to still show the supplemental results, although Spencer says in his first sentence that it was a loophole that was closed?

    Stephan Spencer:

    The way of detecting supplemental pages through site:abc.com and the three asterisks minus some gobbly-gook, no longer works - that was a loophole which was closed shortly after SMX advanced and after I mentioned it in my session. Now that it no longer works, is there another way to identify supplemental pages? Is there some sort of way to gauge the health of your site in terms of: "this is main index worthy" versus "nah, this is supplemental"?

    Matt Cutts: I think there are one or two sort of undocumented ways, but we do not really talk about them. We are not on a quest to close down every single one that we know of. It is more like: whenever that happens, it is a bug to have our supplemental index treated very differently from the main index.

    So we took away the "Supplemental Result" label, because we did not consider it as useful for regular users - and regular users were the ones who were using it. Any feature on Google search result page has to justify itself in terms of click-through or the number of pixels that are used versus the bang for the buck.

    And the feedback we were getting from users was, that they did not know what it was and did not really care. The supplemental results, which started out as sometimes being a little out of date, have gotten fresher and fresher and fresher. And at least at one data center - hopefully at more in the future, were already doing those queries on the supplemental result or the supplemental index, for every single query, 100 percent of the time.

    So it used to be the case that some small percentage of the time, we would say: oh, this is an arcane query - let's go and we will do this query even on the supplemental index. And now we are moving to a world where we are basically doing that 100 percent of the time. [So now all queries are being done on supplemental?]

    As the supplemental results became more and more like the main index, we said: this tag or label is not as useful as it used to be. So, even though there are probably a few ways to do it and we are not actively working to shut those down, we are not actively encouraging people and giving them tips on how to monitor that.
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    Matt Cutts and "definitive answers" rarely go hand in hand

    Recent changes in SERPs affecting some of my niches have, to my mind at any rate, indicated a further move towards querying the supplemental results for searches where previously only the main index was used. I believe it's still very much at a try, test, reverse, tweak, try again stage but it's getting ever closer.
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    Originally Posted by JagNet
    Matt Cutts and "definitive answers" rarely go hand in hand

    Recent changes in SERPs affecting some of my niches have, to my mind at any rate, indicated a further move towards querying the supplemental results for searches where previously only the main index was used. I believe it's still very much at a try, test, reverse, tweak, try again stage but it's getting ever closer.
    Yeah, I think you're right there.

    A co-worker told me that they had gotten rid of the sljktf search, then brought it back, then closed it and now it's back again, so it's just one of those things we'll learn about from trial and error I suppose.
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    BJC
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    I think that interview with Matt Cutts is quite old. Google now claim they have got rid of the supplimental results idea all together.
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    Originally Posted by BJC
    I think that interview with Matt Cutts is quite old. Google now claim they have got rid of the supplimental results idea all together.
    Mid-December '07. I know things can move rapidly in SEO, but to be "quite old" within a month?

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