I was always fascinated by Google's search ability, a great achievement by Google and other search engine providers also, but more so a collective human talent and ability that makes me appreciate our amazing mind and our potential to innovate.

I use Google search daily and I am sometimes disappointed with some very few words that would give no results which I accept to an extent. One of these instances led me to do a further "mini" investigation/test on Google's search ability. For example I tried searching for the word "packit4me" (www.packit4me.com) that I was trying to make use of as an api in as system I was developing. When I searched for "packit4me" no results came back at all even though the site was derived through Google search initially. OK fair enough it isn't all that perfect especially with a word like that. I then decided to test how far I could push its limits. My next test led me to question "did Google manage to do what it said it just did in a flash of a second". I always believed that it is either bringing back pointless results after a few pages or it is just amazingly sophisticated with the amount of data it is filtering.

I'm the sort of person that sometimes likes to put applications to test even if it means trying something that sounds pointless.

So to put Google to the test I searched for "liverpool vs real madrid" it said:

"About 281,000,000 results (0.53 seconds) "

I then decided to go up to as many pages as possible to see how the accuracy in search results changes (not that I am all out doubting it). I wanted to approach it with a test in strange way that even I had never tried before.

So believe it or not I got to the last link in the Google search list which was:

"repeat the search with the omitted results included."

You would think I sound like I will be going for hours but that was only at about page 14.

So I clicked the link and carried on...

I carried on until I got to the very last result which was on results page 48 and which was no were near where I thought would have given up and stopped at. It was however no were near the initial message claiming some 280m results. Unfortunately because I wanted to get to a really good distance to test the accuracy (and because it got a bit boring) I was skipping in a speedy manner so I didn't pay much attention to how accurate it was with the page results as I paged through.

Anyway I scrapped the first test and was more surprised by the fact that after a few page skipping I got to the very last result of what was initially meant to be some 280m results. The actual total number of results that Google only managed to bring back was 471 results.

"Page 48 of about 471 results (0.97 seconds) "

Basically my question is why doesn't the results message reflect the actually results that can or has actually been displayed to me? By far it is just somewhat way way too off.

I suppose the pressing question to me is that with the advancement of the technology we have these days is it really possible to bring back some billions and billions of results from the vast network of the web. First of all I think it is pointless to show this amount of data and the same applies to claiming it is there on Google's part.

To me it's either a bug or miss information in the example of Google, or I suppose I can maybe raise the question can this sort of task be carried out in such a vast network in a split of second or are we still a long way off the technology and power machines required to bring back this volume of results at such speed and accuracy?

  • $\begingroup$ I would quip, is it even relevant what they say in the top corner? Can you read a billion results in a lifetime? ;-) $\endgroup$
    – n1k31t4
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 14:29