Msg#: 4281323 posted 12:01 pm on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
The number of pages indexed on a UK site I work on has gone from 2,500 to 6,500 over the course of a week/10 days (Google site: operator).
No changes have been made to the site, no new pages have been added, and it is a pretty average, commercial site - nothing spammy and very good domain authority.
No new pages or links have been added - pretty much nothing on or offsite to comment on!
The only thing that has happened in this time is a drop in rankings for some major head search terms, which I believe to have been a result of a website outage which happened in this period and was pulled up in Webmaster Tools.
It looks as if our main competitors have also had massive changes in the number of pages indexed...
Sales are down and we are not ranking for any new tail terms. Does anyone know what might be going on?
Msg#: 4281323 posted 1:12 pm on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
I ignore the site: page count for the most part ... There's no money in Google keeping it accurate, because only webmasters possibly care about it, so I'm sure it's super low on the 'fix it' list ... I've seen it bounce all over the place, be off by a factor of 10, be double the actual pages on a site ... My personal advice is forget about it, the stinking count is 50% broken 40% of the time 60% of the time it just doesn't work right and the other 20% it's all messed up...
Msg#: 4281323 posted 2:18 pm on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
Sometimes the number change is a hint you have problems with Duplicate Content on the site, other times it is just Google reporting (guessing!) completely wrong numbers. Do check what happens when you request "almost correct" URLs: they should 404 or redirect.
Msg#: 4281323 posted 3:26 pm on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
It might be a pagerank tsunami, your internal link structure may have kept many pages just off the rankings grid for lack of pagerank but just enough added to the right places and more content comes to life, as far as rankings are concerned. Example: if a category has an increase in pagerank it may flow that rank deeper into your breadcrumb links resulting in more pages actually ranking.