Google Blogoscoped

Monday, January 29, 2007

Page Count Rise for "Copyright 2007"

Throughout January, I’ve taken snapshots of the page count different search engines show for the phrase search for “copyright 2007”. The idea behind this, similar to last year’s experiment, is that a lot of pages replace “copyright 2006” with “copyright 2007” in their site footer after new years, so that creates a good setup for a page count experiment.

There are some pretty big disclaimers for this. The page count may or may not represent the actual number of indexed pages – these numbers often change with the datacenter you hit, and they’re always approximations, and often, they’re vastly off-target (and a search engine may also artificially inflate the number).
Furthermore, a bigger index size does not indicate a “better” search engine; as a hypothetical example, search engine ABC may index 100,000 unique pages containing a certain phrase, whereas search engine XYZ indexes 500,000 duplicate spam pages containing that phrase... so even when, in this example, ABC has a much lower page count, it may still provide a better search result.

With that in mind, here are the page count results for “copyright 2007” – as you can see, Yahoo returns the highest page counts, followed by Google, then MSN, and finally Ask (when the count is falling, not rising, it’s likely that I just hit a datacenter with older numbers):

And in comparison, these are the page count results for “copyright 2006” in the same time span:

Download the Excel data file with all page counts [XLS].
Feel free to share everything you see here, as usual.

[Thanks Alek!]


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