Do You Know What “Google Hell” Is?

Andy Greenberg wrote an article about “Google Hell” and said:

But he does know that his site has been condemned to the supplemental index, a dreaded backwater region of Google search results that goes by another name in online marketing circles: Google Hell.

In other words, Google Hell is the other name for supplemental index.

What does it mean according to the said writer?

Getting stuck there means most users will never see the site, or at least many of the site’s pages, when they enter certain keywords. And getting out can be next to impossible–because site operators often don’t know what they did to get placed there. …

Those pages are scanned far less frequently than those in the main index, meaning that once a page is marked for Google Hell, it can languish there for as long as a year before Google even deigns it worthy of a reappraisal. And as Google tries to manage an explosively growing Web, more and more sites are finding themselves thrown into the search engine’s digital dungeon.

In short (based on his explaination), pages that are in Google Hell are those penalized pages.

Why Google penalized them?

Well, Google will penalize those websites that go against the guidelines set by Google. Read here the Webmasters Guidelines.

Does it really mean that if your site’s pages are in supplemental or in Google Hell the said pages are really penalized?

Google guy (Matt Cutts) has the answer to this:

As a reminder, supplemental results aren’t something to be afraid of; I’ve got pages from my site in the supplemental results, for example. A complete software rewrite of the infrastructure for supplemental results launched in Summer o’ 2005, and the supplemental results continue to get fresher. Having urls in the supplemental results doesn’t mean that you have some sort of penalty at all; the main determinant of whether a url is in our main web index or in the supplemental index is PageRank. …

What should we do if most of the pages of our sites are in supplemental results now?

Matt Cutts again answers:

If you used to have pages in our main web index and now they’re in the supplemental results, a good hypothesis is that we might not be counting links to your pages with the same weight as we have in the past. The approach I’d recommend in that case is to use solid white-hat SEO to get high-quality links (e.g. editorially given by other sites on the basis of merit)

Is it normal for a website that has pages in Supplemental Index?

Matt Cutts again answers:

It’s perfectly normal for a website to have pages in our main web index and our supplemental index.

So, what’s the use of supplemental index results?

If a page doesn’t have enough PageRank to be included in our main web index, the supplemental results represent an additional chance for users to find that page, as opposed to Google not indexing the page. (Matt Cutts)

Anyway, who labeled the Supplemental index as Google Hell?

According to Andy Beal, it was Jim Boykin who gave the label.

And wait, Jim Boykin gave advice on how to free your pages from Google Hell:

Why does google put pages in the Supplemental Results?
I’ve been able to identify 3 main reasons:
1. Duplicate Content – take someone elses content, get sent to Google Hell (Supplemental Results)
2. No Content – create pages with no content (remember the days of directories that would create 1 million pages with only 100 listing?) – empty pages get sent to Google Hell.
3. Orphaned web pages. Pages that no one links to, including yourself.

Now, for the dirt – how to get out.
1. If you stole content – change it.
2. If there’s no content – add some.
3. If it’s orphaned – link to it.

Better be aware of what Google Hell is and be ready to face it.

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