Is Google Crippling The Site: Command?

Apr 26, 2010 • 9:01 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Tedster posted a thread at WebmasterWorld asking if Google is intentionally crippling the site: command. The site command basically let's you filter the Google search results to a single site, and is often used by SEOs and Webmasters to see how many pages Google has in their index.

In fact, we know Google has time and time again told us to ignore the site command. We also know that most SEOs now use Google Webmaster Tools to check the number of pages Google has indexed of their site, but still many use the site command.

Tedster said:

But these newly uninformative site: results have now been with us for many months and in the last few weeks the distortion seems to be intensifying. It is heartening that Webmaster Tools reports higher numbers in many cases - but does this mean Google won't be showing accurate numbers to anyone but those verified as responsible for the website?

Do you think this is Caffeine? Do you think Google just doesn't want to put resources towards this command? Do you think Google wants the site command do die?

Honestly, I am not sure - I just can't see Google killing the site command, it is too useful for site specific filter searching.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Googlers Leave Facebook, Is It Hypocritical?


Jill Whalen

04/26/2010 01:21 pm

Yes. And they've also crippled the allintitle command which stinks even more.

Matthew Diehl

04/26/2010 01:33 pm

For a while now I have seen very limited results when using the site command. However, last week there were a few days when it seemed to "open up" and showed upwards of 10x the results but now it appears to be back to the limited results.

Barry Hunter

04/26/2010 03:17 pm

> it is too useful for site specific filter searching. I think that is the point - its a filter. Its not meant to produce accurate 'count' of results. We know that the "of about X" has always being inaccurate - as its only an estimate. So site: really is just a glorified keyword, and so shouldnt be expected to product exact figures - a guideline sure but nothing more than that.

Martin Greenwood

04/26/2010 05:07 pm

I've always used the site command as I find the google webmaster one a bit vague. For example site a shows 45 indexed urls and 107 via the site command with an up to date sitemap.

Michael Martinez

04/26/2010 08:27 pm

I don't see why it has to be tied to Caffeine. I'm still able to see plenty of site: information by drilling down into deeper directories and sub-domains. It just looks like they are abbreviating root-level site queries. I haven't noticed any appalling drops in traffic that accompany the smaller indexing numbers. For now I'm satisfied that I can confirm content has been indexed by doing deeper, sectional searches but that is kind of a pain.


04/26/2010 09:56 pm

the site: command has always shown me more indexed page results than my webmaster tools. It still seems a bit more accurate to tell what kind of pages are being indexed (vs. webmaster tools).

blog comments powered by Disqus