Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why is Google having trouble counting to 10?

Several times recently I have gotten Google search results where the result count is completely absurd. I am not talking about the typical search where clearly Google is estimating the result count, but for simple cases where the entire result count is clearly known since all results fit on a single results page. Last week I saw a result page that said "Results 1 - 6 of about 3 for ..." Huh? If Google fetched and displayed all of the results, why not display the actual count rather than some clearly absurd estimate.

I just did a search that comes back with "Results 1 - 8 of about 0 for ..." You would think that if a non-empty collection of results were found, the reported count should be anything but zero. Actually, when I do the initial search it reports "Results 1 - 5 of about 3 for ..." with five results displayed. Then I click on the "repeat the search with the omitted results included" link and I get the "Results 1 - 8 of about 0 for ..."

Oh, and if I hit Refresh a bunch of times, sometimes it actually does report the correct, actual result count, and sometimes it reports zero. Maybe a bug was introduced (or found) and the various Google mirror servers are not in sync in terms of code. The same results seems to be returned in either case, although there is some slight difference in display (no indentation for results from the same Web site.)

My latest test search:

"social agent" krupansky

I was attempting to find all of my own documents that refered to social agents.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 8:57 AM EST , Blogger Afsana said...

Jack, I also bearing this problem. Please help


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