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Google's Results Numbers Are Very Small

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

Sunday, December 9, 2007
13 years ago2,635 views

Google shows very few results. Compare the no of results between Google, Yahoo and others.

headline
Google: 6,890,000
Yahoo: 192,000,000

google
Google: 129,000,000
Yahoo: 1,610,000,000

deadlock
Google: 629,000
Yahoo: 8,780,000

intitle:the
Google: 117,000,000
Yahoo: 242,000,000

Martin Porcheron [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Google's argument is that its quality not quantity of results that counts, which I agree with. If I get ten good sites, its better than 50 rubbish ones.

Floris Fiedeldij Dop [PersonRank 2]

13 years ago #

From the results, the majority is still rubbish :D

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

And yet they still only let you view 1000 of those results...

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Why would you need more than 1000 results Tony?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I wouldn't need more than 100. Like Martin says, it's quality not quantity...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> Why would you need more than 1000 results Tony?

It can be useful for screenscraping for certain needs, e.g. to fill a database for a certain application. Not the kind of use-case Google would want though, which is might be why they don't feature it...

As for the lower results quantity, I also don't think it may be too meaningful necessarily. I wonder if the big difference is due to Google handling permanent or temporary redirects differently? So that Yahoo would see "double" where Google sees only one? A small test shows this could indeed be the case:

Google count for blog.outer-court.com (which is now redirecting to blogoscoped.com): ~2
Google count for blogoscoped.com: ~12,200

Yahoo count for blog.outer-court.com: ~15,584
Yahoo count for blogoscoped.com: ~20,729

So, Yahoo counted at least 15,582 more sort of "non-existing" pages than Google. Way to bloat your page count :)

Also, maybe Google kicks some spam sites off the index faster (though I think they should merely lower their ranks, not completely stop indexing them, right)?

But I guess the real question is: how likely do they actually let you find "exotic" pages? I mean that's the only use-case where you'd really need not just "the best" pages but also a really deep & far index to find even the smallest webpage that may contain info.
I just formulated a hypothetical research query for instance, which reads [daniel gillespie clowes interview ink pen]. I was imagining that I'm looking for an interview with comic artist Daniel G. Clowes in which he details which tools he uses. I even used his middle name to only get interviews that go really deep about the subject matter:

Google: ~129
Yahoo: ~10

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