A WebmasterWorld thread has discussion about Google's allintitle, allinanchor and allinurl operators. Basically, these are special operators you can use when search in Google. For example, if you want to find pages that match a keyword phrase but limit it to the title of the page, you search for [allintitle:keyword phrase here]. If you want to limit the search to anchor text, use allinanchor and if you want to limit your search by keywords in the URL, use allinurl.
Some members are noticing a weird occurrence with these operators. Specifically when using quotes. Typically, if you use quotes in your searches, Google would return a smaller set of results, when compared to not using quotes in your search. Reportedly in these cases of using these operators, it is now working the other way, which seems wrong.
Example, I was looking for
. Running allintitle without quotes would return 689 results, allinanchor would return 450, allinurl would return 780. Something rather weird as we are talking about fairly common terms.
However, running exactly the same search WITH quotes would would return 25,000 results for allintitle, 16,800 for allinanchor and 8,900 for allinurl.
Looking at the bolded KWs you can tell that the searches WITHOUT quotes are broader because there are more terms highlighted. For instance, [bold]Widget Rental [/bold] at [bold]Widgets [/bold] Direct UK (no quotes) vs. [bold]Widget Rental [/bold] at Widgets Direct UK (with quotes)
If I understand how these commands work (I hope I do after all these years working in the industry) not using quotes should mean a broader query and higher number of results. Something supported by the fact that there are more terms highlighted. However, that does not seem to be the case.
Some members relate this problem to what we covered yesterday with Google's Index Page Counts Like a "Rollercoaster"?
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.