Friday, May 19, 2006

Not Google site: bug

So after looking more closely at what I thought was a bug with Google, it turns out it's not. site: returns only the pages in Google's main index, site: returns all pages, including supplemental results. What are supplemental results? Basically pages that might show up in search results if Google can't find anything better. So we now have 4 pages in the main index! Unsurprisingly our hits are way down, since most of our traffic is driven by Google. So why did this happen? It seems that Google now won't store all pages in the main index if your site isn't popular enough. By popular, I mean having lots of inbound links. We don't so we get the big heave-ho. Doing searches now that used to bring up links to us now actually shows less relevant results, so I'm not entirely convinced this is helping improve the user's experience. Somebody at Google has written a fairly lengthy article about the latest updates there, with lots of unhappy people leaving comments. Here's a blog post from somebody in a similar position to ourselves.

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