You know the scenario well: you do a search on any engine, and in seconds you are given your results. You stay on the first couple of pages, probably within the first few websites offered. Because there is no way you are going to go filtering through the millions (or even billions) of websites that it gave you to choose from. I doubt you have ever even gone past the third page, much less ventured to number ten and beyond. What would be the point?
If you did start to click on later pages, you would find out that the results they say they found aren’t actually there. Instead, you get a message saying that they have omitted around 90-99% of the websites that came up, and that message will be repeated on every page you try after the initial results they chose to include. What’s going on? Does that mean they don’t really have those results?
One of the reasons that engines like Google or Bing can find so many results is that they don’t bother to collect them for your use. The chances that you will need them are slim to none, and even if you did by chance require a deeper web page, you wouldn’t be able to find it. There are just too many to sift through. Instead, you would have to go back and narrow down your search terms to get a better list of choices, something we are all pretty used to doing by now.
But those results still do exist. The milliseconds it takes to conduct a search are that quick because it has sorted the most relevant sites based on your search terms. These use a ranking system to put them higher on the list, while other sites are left behind. If they were to offer you the billions of websites they have in their database that contain your search term, it would take a very long time to load them, indeed. Just imagine the less-than-one-second loading time for around 700 results. Not try to imagine applying that same time frame to billions.
Yeah, it wouldn’t work out very well for the average user that doesn’t want to spend months getting an entire internets worth of websites they will never need, never use and never be able to search through.
In other words, what the search results found number really means is how many mentions of that keyword they have in their database. Not how many results have been cultivated for your personal use from the search engine. Which is something I am sure we can all be thankful for.
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