A WebmasterWorld thread has dozens of reports from SEOs and Webmasters that Google has dropped the number of pages they indexed of their sites.
Here is one such report:
On all the searchees I look at a regular basis I am now seeing millions less results posted.
Some searches 10 million less some searches 2 million less and so on. It kinda looks like a certian percentange have been dumped from the database.
I am still able to go to the 900 result so this is the same just millions of results less.
WebmasterWorld administrator, tedster, believes it may just a display change. He explains, "just a change in how they get that total number to report." But he is not sure based on some of the differences he is seeing in Google today.
Marcia, legendary WebmasterWorld member, has her own thoughts:
I don't believe they're dumping any data at all. It's my belief (or best guess) that what we're seeing is because they're utilizing statistical query data and making use of partitioned indexing to maximize the efficiency and speed of returning query time results.
Yes, this is nothing new. An older WebmasterWorld thread from over a month ago reported the same issue. But then many reported Google returning the pages after a couple weeks. Now the issue seems to have come back?
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.