Google Site Command Query Rankings Can Be Impacted By Core Updates

I do a ton of site command searches, I do this to find content on specific sites, and I’ve noticed over the years is that the results I get from Google before and after a core update can be impacted for those site commands. So I asked Google if I am crazy for thinking this or if this makes sense. Gary Illyes from Google didn’t say I was crazy.

Here was my question:

Gary Illyes from Google replied saying that while generic non query attached site commands are not really impacted by these updates, site commands with queries attached to them are. Here is his response:

(1) site: on its own isn’t directly (it’s using a different, disconnected ranking path)

(2) site:+query is affected (it’s using the normal ranking path)

The first example is just a site command like, site:google.com and you want to see the pages returned, it can also be site:google.com/folder.

The second example is more like site:google.com [query goes here], like this:

click for full size

Over the years, I have seen some sites, often ones hit negatively by a core update, show less relevant results from the site query command.

I always wondered if it was about an indexing issues, but maybe it is more of a ranking issue? Maybe, maybe it is about a page or set of pages no longer have enough authority to rank, even though that page on that site may have been the most relevant page? I would have thought site command should relax those rules (or whatever you call them)_ because site commands are super restrictive. Sorry for the rambling, but hopefully you see where I am going with this?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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