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jean véronis, university professor in aix-en-provence, has published proofs on his weblog that google is cheating on the number of pages indexed (it says 8,058,044,651 web pages on their frontpage):

it really looks like google’s real index is only 60% of the size they claim, and that, conversely, the results counts given for each word are inflated by a factor of 66%

their devlopers seem to accidentially have left open a backdoor to the real numbers (at least per keyword):

in all likelihood, the google engineers simply forgot to plug the extrapolation routine at the end of the boolean module! therefore, if you want to know the real index count for any word, simply type it twice:

word count
stuttering 749,000
stuttering stuttering 452,000

the second line is likely to be the real count…

(via smartmobs.com)

a possible explanation could be the “supplemental results” that some results are marked as. there’s a lot of speculation about this supplemental index, a google official vagely explained them this way when they were introduced two years ago:

it is a different index, so some of the results can be a little older, but some of the supplemental results are pretty up-to-date too.

ed sullivan has a detailed article about this index and expresses some doubts on the index size, too.


 

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