# largest number of results with a google query

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this might appear to be a pointless exercise and that's because it probably is but what is the largest number of google results that you can get using any possible input. i get 21,8 billion results with number 1, beat that!

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www gives 25,270,000,000-ish.

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ha! very nice

edit; found higher; "inurl:*1" gives 26.66 billion

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Hr, that one doesn't work for me.. gives me 6 million.

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Moved to General with original poster's permission. I thought the general membership might enjoy this fun challenge.

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Oddly "1 OR 2 OR 3 " gives fewer hits.

(15,980,000,000 )

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Not that odd, if you go through the integers 1 to 9, you'll notice the number of hits reduces (as a general rule)...

1 = 21,550,000,000

2 = 17,670,000,000

3 = 15,210,000,000

4 = 12,860,000,000

5 = 12,750,000,000

6 = 10,590,000,000

the only exception being 0 = 11,160,000,000

Of course much larger integers (providing they're a combination e.g not 1,000) will give even less hits...

123 = 424,000,000

246 = 185,000,000

1,000 = 1,070,000,000

I guess it's just a result of how much an integer is used, or is useful, though I'd of thought zero should be the top hit, with that reasoning...anyone know any better ?

If Sysco doesn't mind, anyone want to have a crack at coming up with a number,that has the least results, with the smallest value ?

EDIT: I'm pretty sure mrburns2012 won the original challenge.

Edited by Snail

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If Sysco doesn't mind, anyone want to have a crack at coming up with a number,that has the least results, with the smallest value ?

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No I don't mind

By the way, mrburns, I've checked your link yesterday and it gave me close to 26.5b, but I checked it again today and it gave me 14,7b ! This is weird, the results keep changing every day... by massive amounts! This is actually turning up more interesting than I thought.. might be an insight into the google engine ....Actually, I just checked, it gives different number on Australian search! I assume it would give different number depending on the country extension. See: http://www.google.com.au/search?complete=0&hl=en&safe=off&q=1+OR+2&btnG=Search gives 25.4b, and on .com it gives 14.7b.

I like the the OR bit, but its inconsistent. It's odd to me too, because it sounds logical that OR should give more results if you include more characters/numbers and it doesn't.. :/

I wouldn't say that anyone has won this yet, I have a feeling someone will come up with higher count Google actually has quite a set of specialized search instructions, need to check it out..

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I noticed that earlier too. For some reason, the OR keyword only works like expected when the number of results are a lot smaller i.e. you get more results with OR than AND.

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Is this a bad time to bring up "French Military victories"?

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ha ha ha - Searching for French Miltary Defeats reports back: "404 - too many to compute.."

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If Sysco doesn't mind, anyone want to have a crack at coming up with a number,that has the least results, with the smallest value ?

this does that job

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Not that odd, if you go through the integers 1 to 9, you'll notice the number of hits reduces (as a general rule)...

1 = 21,550,000,000

2 = 17,670,000,000

3 = 15,210,000,000

4 = 12,860,000,000

5 = 12,750,000,000

6 = 10,590,000,000

the only exception being 0 = 11,160,000,000

Of course much larger integers (providing they're a combination e.g not 1,000) will give even less hits...

123 = 424,000,000

246 = 185,000,000

1,000 = 1,070,000,000

I guess it's just a result of how much an integer is used, or is useful, though I'd of thought zero should be the top hit, with that reasoning...anyone know any better ?

If Sysco doesn't mind, anyone want to have a crack at coming up with a number,that has the least results, with the smallest value ?

EDIT: I'm pretty sure mrburns2012 won the original challenge.

Sounds like benfords law to me

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benford%27s_law

http://blogs.msdn.com/ericlippert/archive/2005/01/12/351693.aspx

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The: 17,580,000,000

and the: 25,030,000,000

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The number of hits for a given digit make pretty good sense but the number of pages with "1" or "2" must be at least as big as the number with "1". It should be bigger by the number of pages with "2" but not "1" and in any practical case that should be pretty big. Similalry adding "3" to the list of things that gets a web page included should make the number of hits bigger still.

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Sounds like benfords law to me

Nice, thanks for that d22k, I was wondering if the numbers were influenced by region, e.g using Google UK will have more than a number of hits from BBC 1, but there's something more simple going on, so thanks for the link

chitrangda, zero results don't count, neither do letters i.e I could headbutt my keyboard and get a zero result from google, not particularly hard. Although you could cheat and come up with a unique result, simply by posting it, which would obviously equal 1.

Edited by Snail

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Think I broke it. If you type in...

1 OR a OR www OR and OR the OR "inurl:*www"

..you get

"Results 1 - 10 of about 0" (pages containing that search).

However, look on and it's obvious you got more than 0 results.

Not that odd, if you go through the integers 1 to 9, you'll notice the number of hits reduces (as a general rule)...

Snail, the capitalized word OR in a search engine tells it to fetch results with either one or both your search entries (in a crawled web page). Thus it actually should give us more results for picking 1 OR 2 OR 3, not less.

As a side note, the capitalized word AND tells the search engine to fetch results only if a web page contains both your search entries, not just the one item.

For example, 1 AND 2 will fetch your all web pages containing 1 and 2, but not 1 (ditto for 2).

You don't have to use "AND" though. Instead, you can place a "+" sign directly in front of the search item.

One AND two is the same as one +two.

Another related trick is you can use a "-" sign to exclude a word from your search, which allows you to narrow down the results closer to your liking. For example, if you were searching for "Time" but wanted the search to ignore anything related to Time Magazine, just enter your search as time -magazine. And presto.

As Google has improved it's search engine considerably, you don't really need the "-" sign as much there. But it works great on eBay.

(note: don't use "+" or "-" signs for numerical digits on Google, unless you want it to calculate the entry as a math problem instead For example, if you enter 1 +2 you'll get "3" instead of a search)

Edited by Baby Astronaut

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Snail, the capitalized word OR in a search engine tells it to fetch results with either one or both your search entries (in a crawled web page). Thus it actually should give us more results for picking 1 OR 2 OR 3, not less.

Right you are, Results 1 - 10 of about 34,160,000,000 for 1 OR 2

Results 1 - 10 of about 21,150,000,000 for 1 OR 2 OR 3

Results 1 - 10 of about 17,870,000,000 for 1 OR 2 OR 3 OR 4

Results 1 - 10 of about 26,950,000,000 for 2 OR 3

Results 1 - 10 of about 25,870,000,000 for 3 OR 4

Results 1 - 10 of about 25,710,000,000 for 4 OR 5

As John pointed out, the number of hits should increase, however we're seeing exactly the same pattern as you would with single integers and a reduction using combinations, albeit 1 OR 2 is a whopping 34,160,000,000 hits (as above.) But yes you do get higher results than straight integers.

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Right you are, Results 1 - 10 of about 34,160,000,000 for 1 OR 2 .

Then you won the challenge (although it was by using mrburns's entry so it might not count).

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I wondered if perhaps the search algorithm used bitwise "or" on pairs of numbers, but that doesn't work; 3 or 1 doesn't give the same answer as 1. Also the number of hits for 1 or 3 isn't the same as the number for 3 or 1 (though the differences are quite small).

Very odd.

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Results 1 - 10 of about 25,430,000,000 for "a" with Safesearch on. (0.31 seconds)

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Interestingly, I googled "a" and of the 21 billion the third on the list was about physics.

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