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site: operator shows lower indexed pages than Webmaster Tools

 7:45 am on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I’ve been wondering why Google shows less indexed pages when I search site: www.example.com (It shows only 773 index pages).

But in Google Webmaster Central shows (1003 indexed URLs in sitemap)

Sitemap type - Web
Format Sitemap Submitted - Jan 6, 2009
Last downloaded by Google - Mar 12, 2009
Total URLs in Sitemap - 1147
Indexed URLs in Sitemap - 1003

Can anyone help with this.



 8:02 am on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

try site:example.com which will include the indexed pages from www.example.com and other subdomains of example.com as well as pages that are indexed from the example.com domain itself.


 8:11 am on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

It is still showing only 773 pages indexed.


 8:54 am on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

If your site is geo-targted, say .co.uk than on Google UK would show more pages than in Google.com with the site: operator

[edited by: AnkitMaheshwari at 8:55 am (utc) on Mar. 16, 2009]

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:05 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2009]
[edit reason] fixed formatting [/edit]


 8:55 am on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

The site: operator is often not accurate. Try site:example.com/directory/ and you often can find pages that are not in the basic site:example.com query results.

You've got a small enough set of urls that you can probably pin down exactly which ones are in question between the two approaches. And when in doubt on whether a url is indexed or not, just put the whole thing in the search box.


 9:17 am on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster,

I understand now.

I had a quick search on few of urls. It is showing in Google indexed pages.

Will Google hide indexed pages from Public view?


 5:57 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Each case can be different. What do you see?

Lord Majestic

 6:24 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not every URL Google (or any other SE) knows about will be included into full-text search. It would have been stranger if site: returned more pages than in GWT (though this might not just be up as to date as full text search).


 7:20 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

You've also got to factor in a time difference between the samplings. The site parameter is instant, GWT data is not.


 6:03 am on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

In fact our competitor website is having nearly 12,000 pages and it shows 11,800 indexed pages from public view (Google shows nearly 90% of indexed pages). In my case it was showing 1080 indexed pages before 1 month & now it is showing 1003 pages in GWT & 773 pages from public view.

According to “Tedster” – “just put the whole thing in the search box”. My pages are showing nearly 85% indexed pages. But some of the indexed URLs are not showing from public view.

So I had a doubt whether Google will hide indexed pages from public view or not, since my competitor’s site indexed pages are still shown from public view.


 6:24 am on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

The higher the total number of urls, the more you can't figure it out with any precsion - at least in my experience. Trying to do that analysis is how I originally discovered that going directory by directory gave more urls than a simple site:example.comn search.

And in the end, the data you get from that "about" number is not all that actionable anyway - unless it's off by an order of magnitude.

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