For some time I’ve been noticing irregularities in the results of the information that Google provides through the various commands and through the Webmaster Tools facility. Of course we all know the link command has been hopelessly broken for many years and frankly I don’t know why it’s still there, but the site command was always fairly reliable until a few months ago. The other fact about it was that it didn’t matter which version of Google you used, which seemed to confirm what we were told about the same information being stored internationally and simply filtered at run-time.
Like many other people I often use the shortcuts available in excellent tools such as the SearchStatus extension for Firefox in order to get indexing and link data from the “big 3” search engines but do spot checks manually to make sure there are no anomalies. Today, when checking results for a client who sells children’s bedroom furniture and accessories I noticed a large difference in the results of a site command in Google.com (which is what SearchStatus points to) and the same query run manually in Google.co.uk
I wonder what that tells us about how Google stores information and returns it for different queries? Various possibilities come to mind – one that would be nice is if the .com results are the pages in the main index and the others are in the supplementary index, but this clearly needs investigation and thought.
Whatever the reasons behind this discrepancy I’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on it with all my sites.