Google published an Advanced SEO Help page about using Google search operators to debug a website.
Google search operator search results are not tied to Google’s regular ranking algorithm and the index used is limited and not up to date.
Yet even with those limitations the search operators provide useful information that can be used for search engine optimization related purposes
They aren’t useful for trying to learn about Google’s algorithm. But the search operators are very useful for learning more about a website.
The new documentation contains a statement about the limitations of the data:
“Because search operators are bound by indexing and retrieval limits, the URL Inspection tool in Search Console is more reliable for debugging purposes.”
Search operators can however be used to discover interesting information about a site.
The new documentation covers the following search operators:
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The site search operator shows a sample of the pages in Google. It’s not all the pages, as Google’s caveat makes clear when it stated that the search operators “are bound by indexing and retrieval limits.”
Site Search does not use Google’s regular ranking algorithm and only shows a SAMPLE of pages that are indexed.
There’s always been a random quality to all search operators and that make them unreliable in terms of completeness and especially for trying to find out ranking or algorithm…