Yesterday, I wrote about signs that the Google index size has increased despite the fact that the home page number, as usual, remains firmly stuck around 8 billion. Today, Gary Stock over at Googlewhack tells us that several recent Googlewhacks -- results that yield only one result on Google -- now are showing more than one result. As I'll get into below, it's also another reason why it's time for the "hamburger count" of pages on the Google home page should go.
It's not that the searches have suddenly gained more popularity, producing more content, overnight. It's that Google appears to have gained more pages in its index. Gary says repairwomen falter is a Googlewhack that eight hours ago had one result but now comes up with 10 (or 11 if you go into the omitted results). Note that what's showing up are word lists of little value to the searcher. But hey, they get the counts up!
Ironically, the original and only page that had been coming up for this query -- what Gary calls the "legitimate" page -- is no longer showing up when I look. For him, it was showing up buried under the other results. You'll see it here, but the cached copy is easier to read.
Yeah, I'm still trying to finish my piece on why self-reported index numbers don't mean a search engine is more comprehensive than another. Here's the short answer.
We know McDonald's makes millions of hamburgers. Well, billions. Yet I don't even see that mentioned on the vast majority of signs when I go to McDonald's on occasion. It no longer matters. We know they're big. Big, big, big.
Google and Yahoo are big. When Yahoo stated its new size, I didn't think it was suddenly X percentage better than Google, and neither should you, and neither should Google.
Realistically, Google clearly isn't going to relax until it can get the bigger number and tick over the figures on their home page. And this time, I expect they'll trot out some "proof" to back up their claims, which has never been offered in the past.
But why does it matter? Did Google suddenly discover over the past three weeks that there were billions of pages that they should have had but they didn't? No -- it discovered that the size games that have worked for Google in the past suddenly went south, so let's try to play it again by getting our count up. Search relevancy probably won't increase one bit, as a result. But the PR aspect might -- at least in some quarters.
Want the PR aspect to go up with me? Drop the count on the home page, which isn't accurate now and generally hasn't been accurate over time.
Otherwise, maybe the Pat Herr from McDonald's is available. She's the "tracker of McDonald's hamburger count" and describes the auditing she's done over the years here. It really won't mean much in terms of quality, but heck, it'll be another fun factoid to have trotting out. And maybe the size figure on the Google home page will update when the index actually grows larger and reflect everything in it, rather than being updated in reaction to a competitor suddenly threatening to be bigger with their own self reported figure.
Want to discuss? Visit our forum thread, Sept. 2005 Google Index Update & Size Increase Coming?