In an AskGooglebot session, John Mueller was asked about why, when using the site:query operator on Google, all of the URLs are not present when the results come up.
The SEO professional is referring to the site:query operator, which when used as follows:
the Google results will bring up all pages on the somewidget.com website.
John explained that the site:query operator is not designed to return complete results, nor is it meant to be used for diagnostic reasons.
He also added that Google Search Console is a much better choice to use for site owners who want to find out more information for diagnostic purposes(such as for a website audit).
Don’t rely on the counts showing up in the Google search results, because they are not reliable and aren’t the best source of information for someone trying to diagnose indexing issues.
John Mueller AskGooglebot Transcript
Today’s question comes from YouTube, and is:
When I checked my website in Google, it only shows 28 instead of 180 URLs. Why is that?
The short answer to this question is that a site query is not meant to be complete, nor used for diagnostics purposes. A site query is a specific kind of search that limits the results to a certain website. It’s basically just the word site, a colon, and then the website’s domain. While using this query limits the results to a specific website, it’s not meant to be a comprehensive collection of all of the pages from that website.
If you’re keen on finding out how many pages Google has indexed from your website, then you should use Search Console instead. Google Search Console is a free tool that site owners can use to get more information about how Google Search sees their website.
Within Search Console, you can see how your pages are shown in search, as well as the number of pages that are currently indexed. So in short, don’t worry about the counts shown in a site:query. Use Search Console instead.
And that’s it for this time. I hope you found this useful and insightful. See you in the next episode of Ask Googlebot and don’t forget to subscribe to see them all.