[Corpora-List] problems with Google counts

Lillian Lee llee at cs.cornell.edu
Mon Mar 14 17:16:00 CET 2005

Dear list members,

You might be interested to know that until approximately March 8th,
Google counts appear to have been quite off (inflation rates of a
factor of 66%?), according to Jean Veronis.

In a blog post of February 8th
( http://aixtal.blogspot.com/2005/02/web-googles-missing-pages-mystery.html ),
Veronis summarized his earlier findings:

# If you type Chirac OR Sarkozy, you get half the number results of
Chirac alone, which may have a political explanation... but is a
weird approach to boolean logic.

# If you search the in the English pages, you get 1% of the number
you get for the all languages together. Does this mean that the is
99 times more frequent in languages other than English? Of course

He gave a possible explanation and noted that "if you want to know the
real index count for any word, simply type it twice".

On March 13th, he noted that the counts seem to have been adjusted,
that is "changed in a major way":

Related posts indicate problems with MSN, the possibility that Yahoo
indexes more pages than Google, and more details on calculations.

Lillian Lee, Assoc. Prof. tel: 607-255-8119
Dept of Computer Science fax: 607-255-4428
Cornell University llee at cs.cornell.edu
Ithaca, NY 14853-7501 USA www.cs.cornell.edu/home/llee

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