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I did a Site: search for a website and Google told me it had about 1,000 indexed pages.

Looking through these pages, Google only goes up to 15 pages (150 URLs).

If Google says it found 1,000 results, why will it only show me 150 of them?

EDIT:

Additional info:

When I'm on page 14 of the SERP I can see pages 15-18. When i'm on page 15 of the SERP, pages 16-18 are no longer there. Trying to click on page 16-18 results in this error message

Your search - site:MyDomain.com - did not match any documents.

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    Google has limited the SERP results for a long time now. You are worrying about nothing at this point. This is not an indication of a problem. – closetnoc May 24 '16 at 17:01
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Search engines usually show an estimate of the total number of documents matching your search criteria.

To provide an exact answer they would need extremely complex indexes, requiring a lot more of hard disk space.

Its an long established concept that most people in the industry know of. For example, see this video from 2012

Why might the estimated number of results change when going from page 1 to page 2?

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  • This is exactly what I answered and my answer got downvoted several times. Sigh... – Seb May 31 '16 at 13:47
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Search engines usually show an estimate of the total number of documents matching your search criteria.

To provide an exact answer they would need extremely complex indexes, requiring a lot more of hard disk space.

Granted, 1,000 vs. 150 is quite a bad estimate, but it's an estimate nonetheless.

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    Estimate? Are you kidding me? This is as far from reality as it can get. Results of a site: search is an exact count of all of the indexed pages that pass the SERP filters. Would need extremely complex indexes? Where have you been? Google indexes the dog wee out of the web. No question. – closetnoc May 24 '16 at 21:32
  • I have experience in search engines (ElasticSearch, Xapian, Lucene) and they all show estimates. If you want to get the exact figure, you need to spend a TON more of time performing the search. Maybe that's what I missed in my explanation: you theoretically could get the exact count (I'm sure Google can compute it somehow) but it requires far more computation power than they are willing to give you for free in their search engine. I don't understand why so many downvotes. I would expect that each downvote comes accompanied with an explanation. – Seb May 26 '16 at 11:31
  • Do not under estimate Google. ElasticSearch is a front-end, Lucene is a database, and together, they are still not a search engine like Google, Bing, and others. Not even close. The potential is there, but not with Java which has significant data size limitations which restricts the size of the page or portion of the page that can be indexed. I quickly gave up on it. – closetnoc May 26 '16 at 12:38
  • Do you have any kind of proof to back what you say? AFAIK, even Google shows estimates. Proof of this is that numbers do not match. Are you suggesting that's a bug instead? – Seb May 27 '16 at 16:26
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    @seb - you are correct. When returning hundreds or results, site:search is an estimate and no amount of downvotes will change that fact. – user29671 May 30 '16 at 9:34

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