Google have officially announced that the infamous “supplemental index” is no more. They removed the ability to view supplemental results a few months back so this isn’t really much of a surprise.
For those unaware of the supplemental index, it was basically the naughty step for webpages that Google didn’t trust or think were much cop. OK, so they word it slightly differently –it stored unusual documents that we would search in more depth for harder or more esoteric queries – but we all know different, right kids?
Anyhow, the announcement today includes the following text:
From a user perspective, this means that you’ll be seeing more relevant documents and a much deeper slice of the web, especially for non-English queries. For webmasters, this means that good-quality pages that were less visible in our index are more likely to come up for queries.
I’m not so sure that we’ll see vast differences in indexed pages or increases in search results. The supplemental index, or at least the methodology behind it, will still be in place. After all, surely if a page previously wasn’t considered worthy of appearing in the main index and it hasn’t been changed then how can it now be considered acceptable? I just think that the unpopular supplemental tag has been binned but the scoring mechanism that sat behind it will remain the same.
What Google have done here is put lipstick on a pig. Sure, it’s still a pig but at least now it’s a pretty pig.