Whitey - 12:42 pm on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)
relationship with the authority of a page being listed using the site: operator and potential penalties?
If the site: operator is indicating the "buckets" of authority at each folder level, then yes , it follows that sites with less authority are more susceptable to penalties than those with strong authority.
If the site: is only showing a small number of URL's at the root level over the total site URL's , then I would be doing all possible to distribute stronger link juice to deeper areas of the folder structure .
If you do this, i think site: will report more URL's at the root level as an indication of improved authority.
Just a hunch though ....