Fun fact: 15 percent of all searches on Google have never been searched before. When I saw this claim today, I thought it was an outdated proportion. It’s been searched a lot in the meantime, so many new search terms can’t be added every day, right? But Google has confirmed this statistic: Currently, 15 percent of searches are new. In 2007, that was still 25 percent, since 2013 Google has reported that the percentage of new searches is stable at around 15 percent.
I have a lot of questions about this: What kind of new searches are these? Are there too many searches with a typo? Or are they new fundamental questions? Are they new combinations of existing search terms? How many search terms are there a day at all? And is 15 percent of searches new to the average user? Or are there certain users who create a lot of new tasks? (Here I purposefully look at my daughter who, for example, today searched for “skeip belen opa” and “nice mailboxes seven years”)
During lunch, I asked a student if he could guess how many search terms Google processes per second. It turns out he can do this: he searches for something by himself about eight times a day, and there are more than 80 thousand seconds in a day, so he searches for something on average every 10 thousand seconds (he has learned that you can be careless with These types of estimates). Dependable – not mine by the way, but I was still a little proud when he did this.) There are about 8 billion people on earth, and of course not all of them have the internet and probably not all of them use Google. He guessed that roughly a quarter of people use Google as he does, so you have 2 billion people searching for something every 10,000 seconds, that’s 200,000 search terms per second. It turned out to be only two times wrong – which is perfectly fine for such a quick estimate.
to me Recent sources Google processes 102,253 searches per second (I looked myself a second ago to see if 102,253 was a prime number). On average, Google thus receives more than fifteen thousand search terms that have not been asked together before. But Google rarely says, “Sorry, I have no idea what you mean.” Almost all the words you type have been used by someone somewhere and these sites appear easily and in case of misspellings, the algorithm easily searches for slightly similar words.
I thought of returning with some sadness to Googlewhack: the game where you had to enter two existing words into Google in order to get a single webpage with those words. de Volkskrant In 2002 he wrote about remarkable discoveries such as athletics + math teacher (now giving 4,050 results) or semolina pudding + snow white (now 910).
The great thing about this game was that you couldn’t brag online about the Googlewhack you found because once you did, there were two websites listing those words together. This week someone pointed out to me that comedian Dave Gorman was giving a presentation on his great adventure at Googlewhack — and there’s a full recording of it online. This has a bit of Internet nostalgia, while Google meanwhile processes 592 million sloppy search terms.
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