Google Question

Posted by: artie505

Google Question - 04/17/19 05:55 PM

I realize that Google's algorithms are closely guarded secrets, but can anybody hazard a guess why, when I search for "NBA," the number of results sometimes varies by hundreds of millions from day to day.

In the past two months I've seen as many as 1,500,000,000 and as few as 1,100,000,000.

Side question: Is there any way to access the LAST 100 results other than by hitting "Next" an awful lot of times?
Posted by: Ira L

Re: Google Question - 04/18/19 08:44 AM

I got 1.26 billion just now. smirk

Regarding the last 100 results, prior to "Next" on my search results I see the pages of results listed by number; click on the last one to get the last results and work backwards from there if you want. No?
Posted by: joemikeb

Re: Google Question - 04/18/19 11:44 AM

Originally Posted By: artie505
I realize that Google's algorithms are closely guarded secrets, but can anybody hazard a guess why, when I search for "NBA," the number of results sometimes varies by hundreds of millions from day to day.

Given the numbers are that large, there has to be a cut off at some point and it is unlikely to be an absolute value such as the number of references found. More likely it is a semi-arbitrary value such as search time or aging of links. That is not an uncommon practice when dealing with such a large number of data points otherwise a search might never terminate.

Even though these are big numbers the difference in the two values is less than 3%.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Google Question - 04/18/19 10:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Ira L
Regarding the last 100 results, prior to "Next" on my search results I see the pages of results listed by number; click on the last one to get the last results and work backwards from there if you want. No?

Well, I could keep clicking until I've clicked up to 100,000,000 pages (@ 10 hits/page), but that would take a bit more time than I care to invest in a rhetorical project. (The number I see appears to increase four pages per click.) wink
Posted by: artie505

Re: Google Question - 04/18/19 10:56 PM

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
I realize that Google's algorithms are closely guarded secrets, but can anybody hazard a guess why, when I search for "NBA," the number of results sometimes varies by hundreds of millions from day to day.

Given the numbers are that large, there has to be a cut off at some point and it is unlikely to be an absolute value such as the number of references found. More likely it is a semi-arbitrary value such as search time or aging of links. That is not an uncommon practice when dealing with such a large number of data points otherwise a search might never terminate.

Even though these are big numbers the difference in the two values is less than 3%.

Thanks; that's along the lines of what I was thinking, but a 30%, NOT 3%, difference seems like an awfully large change in a relatively small period of time.
Posted by: ryck

Re: Google Question - 04/19/19 07:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Ira L
Regarding the last 100 results, prior to "Next" on my search results I see the pages of results listed by number; click on the last one to get the last results and work backwards from there if you want. No?

Originally Posted By: artie505
Well, I could keep clicking until I've clicked up to 100,000,000 pages (@ 10 hits/page), but that would take a bit more time than I care to invest in a rhetorical project.

I don’t think that’s what Ira meant. I’ve been DuckDuckGo for a while but I seem to recall that with Google you could either choose pages by number going forward or choose the Last Page. So, if you’re on the last page, wouldn’t it be just 10 backward clicks to see the last 100? Or does my memory drive have a bad sector?
Posted by: artie505

Re: Google Question - 04/19/19 07:10 AM

I've never seen a "Last Page" option; Google offers me pages #1-10 and "Next".
Posted by: artie505

Re: Google Question - 04/21/19 03:52 PM

Been paying some attention, and search time is definitely not the factor in play here.
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: Google Question - 04/22/19 10:05 AM


The NBA playoffs are going on, so I would expect an ebb and flow of news stories, Facebook posts, tweets, etc. which could easily vary by that amount. To illustrate via an admittedly more extreme example: I'm certain that the number of results for a search on "Game of Thrones" last night would've been much greater than for the same search the night before...

Another possibility might be a fluctuation in the percentage of Google's millions of servers that are online at the moment you're searching.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Google Question - 04/22/19 04:20 PM

Thanks for your thoughts.

I don't think it's the playoffs, because I'm seeing around the same number of hits since they've begun that I saw before they started.

The Ball fraud may have resulted in a spike, but 1/4 billion hits doesn't seem at all likely.

I suppose the number of Google servers on line is a possibility, but the differential seems to be in the wrong direction.