Google's SITE: Operator Bug


Yesterday I noticed that for any domain you search as Google would return only 30 results and would ask to "include omitted results" after the click

Now, SITE operator has never been a too accurate method to find how many pages are actually included in the index, but it was VERY useful for identifying indexing issues when you go to page #20 or deeper of search results and just browse indexed pages..

Amazon site search

According to Justin Briggs, this is a new change that appears to be tied to anti-clustering of domains. It also applies to domains with heavy subdomain usage, like

Will it be ever fixed? It is sad to see a great tool go!


Results are not only limited for site: searches

Hi Ann, 

I've been seeing Google limit the number of results for regular searches as well. They're probably testing it. That is why I am so adament that we must stop handing them a monopoly. First they can drive small business and any opinion they don't like deeper into the results. Later if we can only see the first 10 pages (what I've seen in ordinary searches) or first 3 pages (in site: searches) and you aren't in those pages  you can not be found any more. 


There are two polarized positions promoted for any topic. They use personalized results to decide which of those two to show you and bury everything else. When I wrote my Food Rights post at I searched for supporting links using searches that included both the FAQ and the answer. It took days and days to finally find them way past page 10 in the results. Only what they want us to believe appeared in the first 10 pages and sometimes in the first 20. 


Eventually there will be only global elite big brand approved results. Google's CEO once stated that his dream was to return only ONE result for each search. We all need to be identifying and saving on backed-up hard drives sites we find valuable. That way we can still find them if they disappear from search. 


We should be saving not just the domain names, but also the IP addresses because one way they can "clean up" the "Internet cesspool" as Google's CEO puts it is to remove your site from DNS servers. 

I don't really see a problem

Ann, I don't see a problem. If you're doing a site: search and you want to see more than the first 30 results, just click through to see the omitted results... they're there.

Growmap, methinks thou dost see boogeymen behind every search. LOL

Watch for it

Hi Doc, 

I screen captured some of them, but don't recall where I saved them. Too busy dealing with Google taking away 58% of an ecommerce sites traffic to dig them out now. Just keep your eyes open and watch for searches where Google only returns 10 pages of results no matter how many million it says it has. 

This freaked me out on Friday!!

Because I just moved a domain to running a new web app, and I did a site: operator search to see the index - so now I'm paranoid about unintended duplicate content. really glad to hear this is a known issue!!!

@Doc, the problem is that

@Doc, the problem is that something changed, and we would like to know what and why :)

I am getting 167 million hits for

I guess it is fixed. I am pretty sure you are talking about the issue SEL asked Matt about

his answer 

“temporary side effect of the domain clustering change,"


“we expect that site: will be back to showing lots of results by sometime next week.”



SEO Enquirer,

this is appearing fixed for me as well...

I've actually been running a lot of my site: 'ing through is really agressive with what they choose to index and what they choose not to index...whereas google sometimes shows you a bunch of random sample pages for site:. theory is that Bing gives you the higher quality pages, by virtue of even returning them  in the results, which I've found informative when thinking about document quality etc.... although there are limitations to this, since they are different search engines ...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.