Monday, March 19, 2012

Update on the link: operator

I discovered something new today.

As I wrote a month or so ago, when I use the link: operator as so:
I get 48 results that link to it.

However, when I vary the same query, eliminating all the internal pages that link to the 21cif home page, as shown:
I get 7,690 results. Now that's more like it.

What is puzzling is why the number increases so dramatically, especially since the second operator is intended to limit results.  When I examine the results, I see that the term link is shown in bold in the Google results. Now I suspect that the query is actually doing this:
link AND
Which is basically confirmed when I try that query. So the link: operator doesn't work in combination with another operator, despite what Google says:
Find links to the Google home page not on Google’s own site.  source:
I think Google needs to update its operators guide. -site: is still a better query than the link: operator. 

Check out link: and -site: with a few of your favorite pages. Does it work as expected?

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