Google's Supplemental Index - Reduce Labels or Sink! ~ The Blog Doctor.

Google's Supplemental Index - Reduce Labels or Sink!

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When you add your blog to Google it sends it's spiders to index your blog. The spiders index all the pages in your blog and arrange them into a Main Index and a Supplemental Index. You should take all steps possible to prevent your pages from landing into the Supplemental Index.............

When people search using Google it returns the results found in the Main Index. If it does not find any results there it turns to the Supplemental Index. When Google spiders crawl your blog whatever duplicate content they find is dumped into the Supplemental Index.

When you apply labels to your posts in the bottom frame of the post editor when creating a post or on the posts list page you are actually creating duplicate content. For example the following links on a New Blogger blog will bring up the same content :

when the Labels A and B are applied to the post : POST_TITLE_A. When Google crawls your blog the duplicate content pages are placed in the Supplemental Index. The more labels a post has the more content is duplicated in the blog.

The Official Google Blog has this to say about duplicate content :

Understand your CMS: Make sure you're familiar with how content is displayed on your Web site, particularly if it includes a blog, a forum, or related system that often shows the same content in multiple formats.

If most of your site is in Google's Supplemental Index you may find your income and traffic dropping sharply. To find out how much of your site/blog is in the Supplemental Index type this in Google's Search Box : *** -sjpked

OR *** -sljktf

Replace '' with your blog URL/link and press Enter on Keyboard. To find the total nuber of pages indexed enter this in Google's search box :

Again replace '' with your blog URL/link and press Enter on Keyboard. You will get a list of your pages and those in the Supplemental Index will have that label. See picture below :

In the above picture one of my label pages is in the Supplemental Results. You will also see your feed pages in the supplemental results.

To find the percentage of pages in the Supplemental Index : *** -sjpked
----------------------------------------------- * 100%

I did some research on this and found that blogs having labels were having this percentage ranging from 70 to 80%. Blogs with classic templates not using labels were having a very low percentage. You can check this put for yourself. If you find an old blog without labels calculate the percentage and you will see it is low.

This blog also has a higher percentage which I will aim to reduce by deleting unnecessary labels and by adding only one or two labels to each post in the future. Applying a label can get you traffic but too many labels will land your blog in the Supplemental Index.


To delete a label login to the Dashboard and click on Posts. The Posts list page will open. Check the box of the post which has the label you want to delete. Then click the down arrow at the top next to 'Label Actions'. Scroll down in the drop down list till you come to Remove Labels heading. Then click on the label you wish to remove. See picture below :

Note that you have to check the box of the post which contains that label otherwise that label will not appear in the drop down list.


Unknown said...

I am new reader of your blog. I'll need to digest the contents of this one awhile. I use LABELS for my blog posts (new blogger). I'm still naive as to ways to improve things ... however, it appears that you're providing some guidance. I just have to take some time to understand how to implement the guidance on my blog.

peace, Villager

Unknown said...

I don't think this "delete labels to lower the percentage of pages in the Supplemental Index" makes much sense. At the end, what it actually matters is how many pages you have in the main index; lowering the percentage in the supplemental index does no good by itself. At the extreme, if you delete all labels, you might achieve 0% of pages in the SI, but the content of each post will be indexed only once. Each label you add to a given post will make the content of that post be indexed one more time. If the pages of some of those labels end at the SI, there's still not harm in that: they will simply be ignored for search, but they are really duplicates; your content is still indexed (and can be found) elsewhere. In other words, even if all the labels' pages end at the SI, you'll still get the same results as with no labels (ie: your content will only be indexed for the posts' pages). However each label making it to the main index will represent a net gain.

So I'd say exactly the opposite of what you said: having more labels is better.


Rod said...


I have lots of labels on my site and in fact they've helped my site to come on top of so many searches - i followed your instructions and i did not get any supplemental results when searched my site.


Paris David said...

Yeah, I'm all about the labels too.

I think I searched around before I saw my stuff in the supplemental index -- maybe I'll do it again.

Thanks for your good instructions, as always.

And I love my labels. I get so much traffic thru them I'm always going up the 200 character max!

Lovin' Blogger labels and their good Google juice,

p.s. Vin, sometimes your labels are the only way I find your posts when I'm a Googling around, though they take me to the archive pages and force me to hunt around sometimes.

Oh well, that happens to all of us.

vin said...


Hey, you got lucky! Good for you.

vin said...


I think we need to strike a balance between using Labels as an 'index' to the blog and using them as post tags.
Generally tags are applied to luggage at the airport to identify who it belongs to. At least that is the analogy used when asked to explain labels/tags. Now consider what would happen if we covered a single piece of baggage with multiple tags!

It may be claimed by multiple people - TRAFFIC INCREASED!! but then confusion - who does the luggage really belong to ?

There are two advantages to tags :

1. Internal navigation aids. Too many labels will clutter up the page both below the posts area and making the sidebar very long unless you hide them in a +/- expansion list. In the latter case they will not be seen and may be missed by the less intuitive.

2. Getting traffic from technorati as shown here :

Tag, Blog and Ping to Attract Spiders

Tag and ping gets you more traffic only when your tags are the popular tags on technorati. Then again your post content should match your tag. (otherwise your luggage will be misplaced).

So it seems that we have to optimize our labels. There should not be too many causing confusion and not too few also.

People in the Sun said...

Vast majority of my supplamental results came from comments. Is it becasue I removed the 'no-follow' for comments? Should I put it back?

Anonymous said...

Supplemental results are not a problem. It means those pages are given little value by Google, but they will still be shown if someone searches for something matching your page content.

If you want those pages to appear in the main index, get some good quality links pointing to them.

Neil Shearing.

Ed said...

A bit late to the discussion, but all my tags were sent to the supplemental index on the first round, so it does happen,. However I write for readers not for bots, and readers like tags. So I will live with my dirty tags for now. I referred to this article in a post of my own on Tech Pisstaker cheers


Vin said...


Blogger has now put a robots.txt file in root of all blogspot blogs in which the search engines are instructed to ignore label pages.

Penelope said...

Hi Vin
I checked the google supplement index entries for my blog ( - there were a lot of them (for the different blog posts) but the entries were all the same apart from the hot link.
In fact entries show the blogger title (from the
Settings page) and the description meta tag.
I then checked your Blogdoctor index entries. the titles are all different and the entries describe what the post is about.
How do you do this?
I'm sure if I could get my Google index to look like this I would actually turn up in Google blog alerts.
Hope you can help.
Regards, Penelope

Vin said...


The code cannot be pasted here. Email me.


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