So the internet’s been abuzz since last week’s announcement by Yahoo! of an expansion to its web search index, and, more importantly (at least when it comes to gossip), the number of objects therein. Here are the numbers that got everyone talking, courtesy ZDNet:
•Yahoo! – 20.5 billion objects indexed (19B documents, 1.5B images)
•Google – 10.3 billion objects (8.2B documents, 2.1B images)
•In June 2005 Google held a 36.9% share of the US search engine market with Yahoo! at 30.4%, according to comScore Networks.
So people start talking, Google fires back (saying it was “baffled” by Yahoo!’s claims), and some other big boys stepped in, in this case the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). After performing their own study, they came to the following conclusions:
Based on the data created from our sample searches, this study concludes that a user can expect, on average, to receive 166.9% more results using the Google search engine than the Yahoo! search engine. In fact, in the 10,012 test cases we ran, only in 3% of the cases (307) did Yahoo! return more results. In 96.6% of the cases (9676) Google returned more results. In less than 1% of the cases (29) both search engines returned the same number of results.
It is the opinion of this study that Yahoo!’s claim to have a web index of over twice as many documents as Google’s index is suspicious. Unless a large number of the documents Yahoo! has indexed are not yet available to its search engine, we find it puzzling that Yahoo!’s search engine consistently returned fewer results than Google.
Ouch. There is no way this one’s over yet.
[kudos to BoingBoing]