Thursday, May 11, 2006

Search engine results are almost always wrong!

This is the mail which I sent to my team mates / group of friends in Verizon on 9th Feb 2006. I thought let me post it here as well.

Does search engines lie on the number of results shown for a search string?

I tried searching for the word "vadivel.blogspot" in Google. It said there are 178 results found. But actually they are able to display only 23 results. The funny part is ... at the end of the page there was this block of text.

"In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 23 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."

So now I searched again including the duplicates as well .. still it is able to list only 168 results :)

After this, I searched the same search string in Yahoo it said 164 results are there. But on clicking 2nd page ... the numbers changed to 280!! very strange. Still they where listing 129 records only.

So to my knowledge the numbers which "Search engines" show is almost always wrong. Don't get misleaded by that number.

I tried the same search query on MSN and it returned only 23 results. No disclaimers found whatsoever. All 23 entries were unique and there were no duplicates. So to me MSN is the best search engine (atleast for this search string :)).

Hmm one another reason why we need to stick with Microsoft products.


Srini said...

Interesting :)

Now, how about the time they display for these search string. G,Y and M takes 0.51,0.22 and 0.25 seconds respectively. Any possibility for lies here also?

Vadivel said...

Welcome to my blogspace srini.

That's an interesting question you have asked. I don't think I have any substantial facts before me to talk in favor or against it :)