Yesterday was pretty much spent by me writing my story about Google claiming
to be most comprehensive search engine but also dropping any page count from its
home page. That story, if you missed it, is up here:
End Of Size
Wars? Google Says Most Comprehensive But Drops Home Page Count. Now that
I’ve emerged from my writing cocoon, here’s a roundup of what others are saying
on the subject:
We wanted something special for our birthday is the post on Google’s blog
telling the world it is 1,000 times larger than when it started in September
1998, three times larger than any other search engine, but no mention of the
actual count or that the count has been removed from the home page. Instead,
Google asks readers to "see for yourself" how effective the new index is.
The post also points at a new
Sizing Up Search Engines
page where Google explains that it could prove the number of unique documents
it has but doesn’t. Instead, it tells readers "you can prove it yourself" and
advises them to search for uncommon information as a test.
- Google Announces
New Index Size, Shifts Focus from Counting from John Battelle covers how
he also sees the index wars as over "at least in terms of raw counting" and
how it shifts the debate "back to relevance, where honestly, it really
The end of the index size wars (we hope) from Charlene Li is pleased like
John, like me, like
Phil Bradley and no doubt many, many others that we’re getting away from
"mine is bigger than yours" comparisons, though she sees the obvious irony of
Google still saying its bigger as part of the pullback.
She also asks, "How long do you think it will be before some journalist does
some math and writes that Google’s index has 60 billion documents? Hopefully,
never." Well, she’s effectively a journalist on her blog, so never just became
reality. But of course someone was to publish the simple math, if not her.
The point is, when both Google and Yahoo themselves tell you that their counts
aren’t comparable, then it doesn’t matter what the number is that either
releases. It’s like Google saying it has "60 billion GoogleTons of pages" and
Yahoo saying it has "20 billion YahooTons of pages." What’s the conversion
rate for GoogleTons into YahooTons? We don’t know. And if you don’t have that
common metric, then you can’t compare the figures.
- Google: No, really ours is
the biggest, you’ll just have to trust us on that ok? from Nick over at
Threadwatch sees Google taking a "slap" at Yahoo over the issue of duplicated
entries. That’s ironic, too, since if you read my story, I showed an example
where Google has three duplicated entries in one example — all of which are
counted. It’s another reason why I’m glad we’re getting away from counts.
Nick also wonders if rather than a pullback from the index wars, we’re seeing
an escalation. I say a pullback, Nick. Yahoo’s already making statements that
it agrees users should judge for themselves. I’d expect that they’ll later
further say they consider themselves to be most comprehensive and take the
Google line that users can verify this for themselves. As long as we don’t see
actual count figures come back as "proof" of comprehensiveness, we may move
along for a bit.
Google: Mystery index from Jean Véronis who’s done some great watching of
search engine counts notes that the Google claim meshes with his estimate of
where the index was going.
Google says size matters less, drops search boasts from Reuters has a
basic overview of the move by Google.
Google to take down front-page boast about index size from the Associated
Press provides another overview with the idea that verification is left to a
user "taste test."
How Many Pages in Google? Take a Guess from the New York Times also has
the "taste test" idea and gets Google CEO Eric Schmidt "not to rule out" the
idea that a prize might be given for the best guess at its size.
- Google touts
size of its search index has Google ending the CNET news blackout, with
Google CEO Eric Schmidt doing a phone interview on the announcement along with
the Yahoo statement others are also being given:
"We congratulate Google on removing the index size number from its home
page and for recognizing it is a meaningless number," Yahoo said in a
statement. "As we’ve said in the past, what matters is that consumers find
what they are looking for, and we invite Google users to compare their
results to Yahoo search at http://search.yahoo.com."
Letter To Google Chief Eric Schmidt is from WebmasterWorld member reseller
who has issues with Google’s claims of being larger in terms of "unduplicated"
pages. My story above gives examples of how some duplicate pages are already
in Google. The complaint in partiular covers the fact that while duplicate
pages exist, de-duplication efforts may also remove the original documents
from Google, rather than mirrors.
I may add further links as I see unique stuff flow in.
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Google Drops The Home Page Count thread in our Search Engine Watch Forums.