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For many search queries, especially those with phrases in quotation marks ("), search engines often state a very wrong number of search results on the first results page.

E.g., For query "my house is red",

  • Google says "About 47,600 results" on the first page. On the second page, Google says "About 119,000 results". On the 31st and last page, Google says "About 305 results".

  • Yahoo says "483,000,000 results" on the first page. This number falls to "228 results on" on the 23th and last page.

  • Bing says "581.000.000 results" on the first page. This number falls to "189 results" on the 20th and last page

  • Yahoo Germany says "1.910 results" on the first page. This number falls to "1.370 results" on the 57th and last page.

What would be the most efficient way to check on how many Web sites a certain word or phrase approximately occurs? I have mainly used the first results page of Yahoo Germany so far. But sometimes the numbers stated here are also way off.

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Interesting read from XKCD on that topic. –  slhck Apr 28 '11 at 20:55

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