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site:www.example.com and site:example.com return different results

     
6:28 am on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Very strange results, for my 102 page site:

site:example.com returns 80 results
site:example.com/ returns 80 results
site:www.example.com returns 78 results
site:www.example.com/ returns 83 results
site:http://www.example.com returns 81 results
site:http://www.example.com/ returns 80 results

Each set of results always showed at "results have been filtered" on the last page. Now if I add "&filter=0" to the Google URL I get:

site:example.com returns 80 results, but on the last SERPS page states 79
site:example.com/ returns 20 results
site:www.example.com returns 78 results, but on the last SERPS page states 76
site:www.example.com/ returns 80 results, but on the last SERPS page states 78
site:http://www.example.com returns 78 results, but on the last SERPS page states 76
site:http://www.example.com/ returns 80 results, but on the last SERPS page states 79

and if you try checking folders they vary even more. But ALL of the URls showing in the results given have the www. at the start. I use an .htaccess 301 redirect from non-www to www version.

I used my smallest site as an example as I noticed the issue when doing a site:webmasterworld.com search. The variances for WW are huge but I didn't know if they were just Google Guesstimate variances in the SERPS. At such a low number of pages I was able to see every page that Google was showing.

Any thoughts as to whether it's a bug or I've missed something would be appreciated.

Thanks
Mike

8:46 am on June 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've also found that "site:domain" differs from " site:domain". ie: prefixing the search with a single space. In the URL, it lists each space as a "+". I guess G doesn't trim()... :)

It still concerns me, as just today I noticed the search with the prefixed space returns 150 results, whereas without the space returns over 5000 results (which is what I expect).

I do perform this search with the space quite a bit as it's a bookmark of mine, so maybe there's some sort of a penalty occurring.

2:18 pm on June 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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internetheaven, there are often variations between site: operator searches that use with-www and no-www. They are asking for a different report. The two variations of a url are not technically the same and on some sites, they do return different content.

When you are getting an estimated number, that is indicated by the word "about". The site: search is a reporting function, and not as precise as it once was, by the way. For instance site:example.com/directory/ can return urls that are not returned from site:example.com

zaqwsx3, that's an interesting quirk - I never noticed it before and I can't reproduce it. I'd say it's just a tehchnical quirk and you should fix the bookmark. There's no reason I can see for Google to apply a penalty just to a reporting function such as the site: operator.

8:01 pm on June 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you haven't done so already, go to webmaster tools in google, Then to Tools and finaly to Set preferred domain, in there chose the one you would like(with or without the www.) I had the same problem but since i did that and used the .htacess file to redirect to the www. version, whatever i write: www.example.com or example.com, gives me the same results.
8:04 pm on June 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Make sure that all of your internal links also point to the correct www domain. Use Xenu LinkSleuth to check your entire site for errors.

The 301 redirect should mean that all your content is indexed using the www in the URL as the canonical domain.

Do a site:domain.com -inurl:www search to see if there are any stray non-www pages still indexed. If there are, Google will eventually delist them anyway. However, while they still exist in the SERPs they will still rank, and deliver visitors (and your redirect will silently bounce them over to the correct URL for the content).

7:18 am on June 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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site:domain.com -inurl:www

Returned zero results.

The 301 has been up for two months and before that only the main page was indexed because there were no other pages.

All pages have <base> tags with the full www. version of the URL.

When you are getting an estimated number, that is indicated by the word "about". The site: search is a reporting function, and not as precise as it once was, by the way.

That is why I test it on a site with only just over a hundred pages. It's not really an estimate at that level, you can manually count the links and Google says "about 79 page" when there are "exactly 79 pages" showing in the results.

6:10 pm on June 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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See also: [webmasterworld.com...]
 

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