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Two of my site's pages (our About Us and Contact Us section) never did appear when I did a site:example.com search for over a year. But a few days back I received an email alert for link:example.com and 'example.com'. The alert was our contact us page.
And now when I do a search for site:example.com, I see the contact us page is back in the index.
So to summarize
1) site:example.com does not return page x
2) receive email alert (link:example.com and 'example.com') with page x
3) page x appearing now in the serps for site:example.com
So I guess tedster, this is one small informational loop hole that they forgot to close. How long before they close it? Any bets?
Whenever a process is automated, various "edge cases" come up that the original code did not take into account. And sometimes other related processes in the total environment change -- and then the original code does not yet accommodate the new environment very well.