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Whenever you try to search something in google or any other search engines .. They include total number of search results which always exceeds the simple/readable numerical value ..

Where as the fact you could (possibly) discover is, there are only few such results excluding all the duplicate links ..

Is it really necessary for them to lie and make false advertisement ?

I would also like to tag one more question here ..
how to get rid of duplicate links in search results .. ?

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closed as off topic by TFM, Nifle, Siim K, sudo, Everett Mar 10 '13 at 19:53

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Have you got an example search query where this is obvious? –  Georg Schölly Jan 11 '10 at 12:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Search engines like Google do not really evaluate the query. What they do is evaluate the first part of the query, meaning enough results to display the first result page.

That's because Google works under time constraints, needing to give a result in a matter of seconds, while for some keywords there are result sets pointing to millions (or more) of indexed pages.

The total count Google gives for the result is only a statistical estimate. It's evaluated as a function of the number of results that were found, and the fraction that the displayed result represents of the total size of the indexes that are to be processed per all the keywords. In other words, if giving you the first 20 results involved processing 20% of the index sets, then Google will stop processing and return an estimate for a total result size of 100.

When you click on a result, you might not find your keyword inside. That's because while Google reindexes all pages, it does take a long time to recrawl over billions of Web pages. So if the page has changed, Google may be late by several months to take notice of the change.

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I can't even comment on it .. thanx for the response .. the best answer .. :-) –  InfantPro'Aravind' Jan 11 '10 at 16:06

The following is an oversimplification, but it's pretty close:

Because there are so many pages on the internet, it is not possible to even store all of them on one server. To get around this, Google has many thousands of crawlers that all crawl the web and store their findings to servers. That means that the pages returned for your query are scattered over thousands of servers, and that (if multiple crawlers got to the same page) the same page will be on many servers.

When you make your query, Google asks its servers how many pages they have that match. But because there are so many servers, it doesn't have time to look at the exact results from each one. So it gets the top ten results and has them just send back a number for how many more they have.

This means that if server #1 has page A, and server #10 also has page A, Google reports that as two results. Or if 10,000 servers have page A, Google reports that as 10,000 results! These "fake" results go away when you click to see more results, because when it presents the ten detailed results to you, Google does make sure that there are no duplicates.

Hope this explanation makes a bit of sense.

I'm not sure I understand your second question. Google "dedupes" links by default, so it shouldn't ever show the same link twice in the same result.

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I believe this is false : google doesn't consult any sub-server. Each google cluster is autonomous. –  harrymc Jan 11 '10 at 11:34
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Fair enough - I'm describing this based on experience with another large search engine which shall remain nameless. I don't have direct knowledge of Google's architecture (and should have caveatted as much in my original post). But, then, can you clarify a bit more what actually causes this phenomenon with Google? [I would set my post to wiki, but I don't think I have that ability on this site...] Google's official statement at google.com/support/webmasters/bin/… doesn't explain any of the details. –  Arkaaito Jan 11 '10 at 11:42
    
See my answer. [15chars] –  harrymc Jan 11 '10 at 11:46
    
Other comments don't matter .. It made a bit sensible point here .. –  InfantPro'Aravind' Jan 11 '10 at 16:03

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