31st August 2006

If you search Google for “site:yourdomainname.com” you’re supposed to come up with the number of pages in Google’s index for a given domain.

For the past few months, these results have varied wildly, depending on the Google data center you’re connecting to, and other mysterious factors. Sometimes you can see different results within minutes of each other.
Webmasters all over the world have beencomplaining for months about the inaccuracy of the site: search command at Google, and now Matt Cutts has finally offered aa explanation…

He says in his latest video (I’m paraphrasing) “…it’s only an estimate anyway, and we never claimed it was accurate…”

Then he goes on to say that (I’m paraphrasing again) “…there are more important things for webmasters to worry about…”, and “don’t lose sleep wasting time in the forums griping about the Google data centers results…”.

Well that’s all well and good, and deep down, we all know that he’s right, but that’s small consolation for a site owner trying to compete online, who just wants to know what’s going on.

Personally, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for an accurate (or at least CONSISTENT) count of webpages in the index of a search engine.

Matt has now made clear what I think we all knew anyway… Google is going the best they can. With so many different data centers, all in the middle of so many different processes, there’s practically no way to keep up.

The official message from Google then, for those concerned, is to “keep doing the right thing and have faith that you will be rewarded”.

Is this good SEO advice or a Sunday service?

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