Internet Marketing Research

Google’s Site Search

Some amateurs in the SEO industry try to test the Google ranking algorithm by creating test pages that are almost identical, except for one element or another. This is all good and can produce intriguing results. However, we must warn that when Google’s Site Search and/or Unfiltered Results Search is used, the normal ranking algorithm is not applied. For this reason, Site Search is useless for testing the ranking algorithm.

Site Search

Sample One
Do a search for Kawasaki Mule. The first URL returned from will be the index page of that site. Screenshot.

Now try a Site Search, limiting results to pages from The search term should be the same as before, Kawasaki Mule. … Did you do it? As you can see, with a site search, Google returns not the index page, but the Mule 3010 4X4 page instead. Screenshot.

These results show that Google’s normal ranking algorithm has not been applied.

Google's Site Search

Sample Two
Do a search for Concrete Home. The first page listed from the domain is not the index page. The first page listed from that domain is:

Now do a site search for the same search term. Doing a site search for a concrete home currently returns the index page first. This same test has been done on several sites, with similar results. Screenshot

Unfiltered Results

Unfiltered results (filter=0) can also be shown to be non-algorithmically ranked.

For this test, let’s do a standard Google search for Beartooth Kawasaki. In search results, we will see Google returned two pages from


Now if we perform the same search with unfiltered results, the search results change thus:


Thereby showing that Google’s standard ranking algorithm has not been applied to this search.

When a user performs a site search, it is our opinion that Google is simply providing a listing of the relevant URLs. This is just a theory, of course. The only thing we know for a fact is that Google’s Site Search and Unfiltered searches often produce non-algorithmically ranked results. For this reason, test results done using Site Search and Unfiltered Results should be considered meaningless and disregarded.