Thursday, March 05, 2009
Every now and then in the webmaster blogosphere and forums, this issue comes up: when a webmaster
site:example.com query on their website, the number of indexed results
differs from what is displayed in their Sitemaps report in Webmaster Tools. Such a discrepancy
may smell like a bug, but it's actually by design. Your Sitemap report only reflects the URLs
you've submitted in your Sitemap file. The
site operator, on the other hand, takes
into account whatever Google has crawled, which may include URLs not included in your Sitemap,
such as newly added URLs or other URLs discovered via links.
Think of the
site operator as a quick diagnosis of the general health of your site in
site operator results can show you:
- a rough estimate of how many pages have been indexed
- one indication of if your site has been hacked
- if you have duplicate titles or snippets
Here is an example query using the
Your Sitemap report provides more granular statistics about the URLs you submitted, such as the number of indexed URLs vs. the number submitted for crawling, and Sitemap-specific warnings or errors that may have occurred when Google tried to access your URLs.
You can check out our Help Center for more on the site: operator and Sitemaps. If you have further questions or issues, please post to our Webmaster Help Forum, where experienced webmasters and Googlers are happy to help.