Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Just how big is Brittany Ferries website?

I came across a rather odd article the other day that announced that as a result of implementing some website optimisation software, Brittany Ferries website had leapt from having 3,000 webpages indexed by Google to 308,000 pages being indexed by the search engine.

I have to admit I was astonished by this marketing claim. Just how big is Brittany Ferries website? I can't imagine how they can possibly have three hundred thousand unique pages of website content even if they include affiliated organisations such as their Brittany Ferries Gites & Cottages directory. A thousand or so maybe but that's an absolutely incredible amount of material.

So I did a few searches for myself.

Self SEO have a tool that will search the major search engines and tell you how many pages you have indexed on the search engines.

For SelfSEO reported 14 indexed pages, but for it reported 346,000 pages as being indexed!

Alternatively in the Google search box you can type the query

          " -qwertrew"

where "qwertrew" is some term that does NOT appear on any of your pages.

Try this for and then click on the 'repeat the search with the omitted results included' and I got 42,300 pages but if you dig down then an awful lot of the pages seem awfully similar to each other.

So it's odd that the numbers can be so wildly different depending on how you 'ask' Google what it's indexed.

So repeating these queries on something I know the answer to, my very own vacation rental website.

SelfSEO revealed 119 pages indexed, and via the 'inurl' Google search trick, 118 pages indexed.

Digging around and counting up I found that there are 27 actual pages of content (Gite description, places to visit, travel directions, current availability) on the Gite website, 74 availability calendar pages (one for each month from January 2005 through to January 2011), 14 different 'test' pages I've written whilst trying out ideas (like the website redesign of 2006) and 5 different PDF documents (booking enquiry form, etc).

So the 'correct' answer is somewhere around 120 if you add all these together - thus the SelfSEO number seems just about on the mark.

Which leads me back to sort of trusting the website index statistics unearthed by SelfSEO, and thus begs the question I started off with, Just how does Brittany Ferries end up with so many unique website pages?

It's taken me long enough to write a hundred or so pages !

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