An SEO professional asked John Mueller during a hangout about site search results and why there is a discrepancy between these and Google Search Console.
Their question was: why don’t the search results of a site query, that returns many giant numbers of results, match the indexation data that is shown in Google Search Console?
John answered that this is a question that comes up every now and then. John believes they have done a video on this separately also.
He would double check that.
Also, he thinks that what happens there is that there are slightly different optimizations that Google does for site queries in terms of: Google just wants to give you a number as quickly as possible.
This can be a very rough approximation. And this is something where when you do a site:query, this is usually not something that the average user does. So then, Google will try to give you a result as quickly as possible.
This happens at approximately the 09:35 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
Okay, here’s another question: Why don’t the search results of a site query, which returns of about so many giant number of results, match what search console in the index data has for the same domain?
Yeah, so this is a question that comes up every now and then. I think we’ve done a video on it separately as well. So I would double check that out. I think we’ve talked about this a long time already. Essentially, what happens there is that they’re slightly different optimizations that we do for site queries in terms of, we just want to give you a number as quickly as possible.
And that can be a very rough approximation. And that’s something where when you do a site query, that’s usually not something that the average user does. So we’ll try to give you a result as quickly as possible. And sometimes that can be off. If you want a more exact number of the URLs that are actually indexed for your website, I would definitely use Search Console, that’s really the place where we give you the numbers as directly as possible, as clearly as possible. And those numbers will also fluctuate a little bit over time.
They can fluctuate depending on the data center, sometimes they go up and down a little bit as we crawl new things. And we kind of have to figure out which one so we keep all of those things. But overall, the number in Search Console for in, I think the indexing report, that’s really the number of URLs that we have indexed for your website.
I would not use the of about number for any diagnostics purposes in the search results, it’s really meant as a very, very rough approximation.