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Can you believe Google’s estimated number of search results?

I’ve never had much faith in Google’s estimated number of results (and for good reason [1]). Every so often I run queries that I know will return a huge results set and I note the number of pages found, such as for “the” or “http”. The number of results just get bigger and bigger, like the length of the preverbial “fish that got away” with each telling of the tale!

Based on some anecdotal evidence I’ve collected [2], Google’s estimated numbers of results appear to be ballooning, while concomittently Yahoo’s appear to be shrinking.

So don’t go betting your life on the numbers of results returned by Google, as they’re most certainly overrepresented.