A partner of my company (not sure whether i can tell their name here - i´ll use example.com instead) asked me yesterday, why there is such a big difference when they enter the site command at google at first with "www" and then without "www", to check the number of indexed pages.
First of all, the Google Webmaster Tools show about 9.000.000 indexed pages.
"site:example.com" provides me about 10.000.000 hits. "site:www.example.com" are only about 4.000.000 hits.
I first thought that they have some subdomains registered, such as "blog.example.com", or "test.example.com" ... But entering "site:example.com -site:www.example.com" to detect pages from subdomains other than www, brings up exactly 2 hits. Where are the other 6.000.000 ?
The next thing is, providing google a little bit more in the query such as "site:www.example.com in" (or other linking words) brings me more hits than the blank site command with www ("site:www.example.com"). Sometimes about 2.000.000 more than the blank www query...
Is the number of hits really that inaccurate?