Win a Luxury Vacation for 2 to the Supplemental Index

I currently have 3 sites in Google's supplemental index - this means that the homepage is indexed properly, and all other pages pretty well gone.

What is interesting about my SEO strategy is that it is almost identical across all the sites I manage. Most of my sites use the same CMS, which is constantly being upgraded with new ideas and SEO features. To a certain degree, this means having all the eggs in one basket, but on the other hand it means a certain level of consistency across what I do.

I don't focus heavily on link building, rather spend most of my time doing on-page optimisation, and then do some link building to finish off what can't be done with on-page optimisation alone.

So, right now, 3 of my sites are in Google's supplemental index, and all for different reasons. I'm going to be brave, and post some links to these sites so that others can see what I'm talking about.

Ministry of Death

This is a BF2 (Battlefield 2) gaming clan that I used to play in - now, I just look after the website, and even then it's a hobby. Luckily, this is an established community, and getting new visitors from Google is pretty low on the list of priorities.

Poorly indexed


Indexing is very poor. Of the 95 indexed pages, only the homepage is a real page. The rest are mistakes from the past - lots of pages with PHPSESSID attached, deleted pages, and even the 404 page indexed (particularly nice). Most of these issues were cleaned up 6 months ago.

How does it rank?

Hopefully this image gives some idea of the damage of being thrown into the supplementals...
Where for art thou Ministry of Death


Where for art thou, ministryofdeath.com?

I have always said if you can't get to the top for your own name, you have real SEO problems (unless of course your name is a competetive phrase like "Weight Loss Pills Limited"). Ministry of death can't be found for it's own name, and it can't be found for all the phrases it used to rank on page 1 for - "bf2 clan", "nz bf2 clan", "bf2 australia" etc. Gone.
This is the same site that currently ranks number 2 for "bf2" on MSN.

A little more info

This site has always been around 100 pages of content - mostly downloads, which have since been removed, and an active forum. The site is around 2 years old, Google has always had 100 odd pages indexed, the homepage is a PR4 and it has a DMOZ listing, which is where the homepage snippet is coming from. It has a good number of incoming links from the Link Vault, but not overdoing it. It also has a number of more natural links - members linking to forum posts on other BF2 forums etc for totally non-seo purposes.

Previously we used PHPBB for forums, and forums pages have only very rarely rarely appeared in Google's index. Recently I installed my own forum system which has search engine friendly URLs, amongst other things. Yahoo likes it, but Google doesn't seem to notice. I was hoping this would unlock another 2000 pages of forum content for the search engines to sink their teeth into, but no.

The vacation

We have spent a sunny holiday in the supplemental index for about 3 weeks now. I'm wondering when we might be allowed back into the main index? Google certainly isn't much help, and Matt Cutts is saying everything is fine. I have to say, it really does seem that Google has made a mistake on this one.

The other sites

The other sites I have in the supplemental index are of more concern, because these belong to businesses that rely on Google for income. While Ministry of Death is a fun site that runs fine on the existing community, most sites can't afford a month of no visitors for no particular reason.

Centurian Sauna is one of 3 Gay Saunas in Auckland - the only one with a website. The site has been around for years, and a redesign launched in Feb 2006 skyrocketed the rankings on Google, Yahoo and MSN for almost all chosen phrases - using on-site optimisation only, and no black hat tricks.

Currently it can't be found on Google for "gay sauna auckland". The majority of the top 10 results are all pages on other sites advertising Centurian Sauna, but the Centurian site is not in the results. It hasn't been black listed, because it still has 4 pages indexed (and there is no black hat SEO anyway). Of those 4 indexed pages, 1 is the homepage, and 3 are from the old site design. Google traffic is all but non-existant.

The site is established, has around 20 - 30 pages of hand written content (much of it written by myself - it's not easy for a straight person to write gay content, it involved several trips to the wikipedia to find out about douching and glory holes). The site validates for the most part, and has no indexing barriers (uses the same system as this site, which is indexed fine). It has a DMOZ entry, and some good incoming links that were built naturally on other gay sites.

If Google is looking for "relevant" results for their searchers, I don't see why Centurian Sauna isn't in the results for "gay sauna auckland". It just doesn't make sense.

Please sort it out Google.
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