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Inside Google Sitemaps: Issues with the site: operator query

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Issues with the site: operator query

We'd like to give you all a quick update on some of the issues you have been seeing when you do a site: search to see how many pages of your site are in the index. We've been refreshing our supplemental results (you can read more about that in Matt Cutts' blog post) and this refresh has involved some serious changes under the hood. Unfortunately, with change of this scale, there sometimes are bugs. In this case, we found a few bugs that affected the site: operator. Some particular ones you may have noticed are that the following types of queries don't return the correct number of results:

  • site: queries where you type in a trailing slash (such as site:www.example.com/)
  • site: queries for a domain with punctuation (such as site: www.example-site.com)

We've got fixes for all of these rolling out in the next few days. They didn't come out sooner because we've been testing them thoroughly, making sure you don't get any unexpected surprises.

This bug doesn't involve any pages being dropped from the index. It's the site: operator that isn't working properly. We're freezing all refreshes of the supplemental results until these issues are fixed, and things should be back to normal in a few days. We'll keep you posted when all fixes have been made.

In the meantime, site: queries without the trailing slash may provide a better result (such as site:www.example.com). If you are checking your site using the Index Stats page of Google Sitemaps, note that it uses the trailing slash in the query, so you may see incorrect results until this bug is fixed.

Thanks for your patience as we resolve this issue.

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