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When it comes to SEO detective work, knowing which pages of a site have been indexed by Google is one of the easiest way to find potential problems.
Sometimes, there are folders / domains that are created by developers you hired long time ago secretly hurting your SEO efforts.
Google Search Operators are perfect tools to help you initiate the investigation. I personally like to use the “Site” operator when I start working on a new site / domain.
Site: operator – So powerful yet so simple!
Just type the domain of your interest right after “site:” and do a Google search
As you can see from the screen shot below, Google will narrow down the search to the domain you specified.
Right away, it shows me that an archive page for posts in 2013 has no meta description (description seems to be from one of the page’s).
How long did it take me to find this issue? 5 seconds!
The operators can also be combined. For example, by combining “site:” and “inurl:” operators, I was able to find a Tag page from Digitalreadymarketing.com that got indexed. Ideally Tag pages should not be indexed so this exercise alerts me to do something about it.
if you have not used the “Site:” search operator before, give it a try and you will be surprised how much you did not know about your site/domain.