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Site: shows indexed pages decreased but they increased in WMT

     
9:53 am on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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As the subject goes, in the last three days if i typed Site: operator on Google I witnessed a sharp decrease in the number of webpages indexed (they helved) .

However in my WMT indexed pages have slightly increased and they almost reflect the number of pages I have on my blog.
Might I ask for some help in order to understand this? I am rather puzzled. Should I worry?

btw: traffic so far is normal
3:06 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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the most important and accurate measurement is your traffic level. if you traffic is holding steady you probably have nothing to worry about.

site: searches have a long history of glitches and inaccuracies.

WMT also has been known to be have a few glitches but IMHO is less error prone than site:.

google generally does not index 100% of a website. they tend to focus on indexing pages with unique & valuable content. in other words dont worry if they ignore your boilerplate privacy policy page or disclaimer page.
4:36 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@goodroi: thanks for your reply. So far my traffic is stable and solid as ever. In my WMT the number of indexed pages has slightly increased thus reaching almost the number or page I have on my blog.

But why site operator is so inaccurate? it almost gave me an heart attack!
5:10 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I recently either read or watched a comment from Matt Cutts about the site: operator. He acknowledged that is is not accurate. It's apparently a consequence of the way Google breaks down or shards their data about pages and stores it across many, many servers. In other words, we can't think of Google as a huge relational database - it's much more complex than that.

He did say that the site: number should not be off by "an order of magnitude". I recently checked on one client site (actually just one of their directories.) The site: number was over 7000, but there were only 780 actual URLs in the list - no link to display more at the end. That sounds pretty much like an order of magnitude to me.

That said, even when the number looks way too crazy (and it often does) I have been able to pick up some actionable intelligence from which URLs are actually listed. But it's just not worth a lot of upset for me as long as Google search traffic is healthy for the site. If I can get take some actionable intelligence from the URL list, then I will.