Daily Archives: February 8, 2006

Why do search engines lie?

Here, do a search for Memetrackers (Google, MSN, Yahoo). Now, why are none of their numbers accurate? Google says there are 713 results, but can only display 62. MSN says there are 101, but only can display 100. Yahoo says there are 368, but only can display 44.

Why aren’t there any truth in advertising laws for search engines?

Update: the numbers are changing. Google now says there are 699 results, but can only display 692 (this is after you tell it to display all duplicates).

Oh, and no engine can display more than about 1,000 results, so if they say there’s 42,000,000 results there’s no way to verify whether those numbers are accurate or not.

Update 2: Yahoo is actually accurate once you tell it to display all duplicates. It says 429 results and displays 429 results. So, Yahoo wins! (although I wish they’d all be a little clearer up front).

Why don’t you use a memetracker?

Over the last few months I’ve been asking people I meet who read my blog (or who say they do, at least) about whether or not they read Memorandum (or the competitors like TailRank, Blogniscient, Digg, Megite, or Chuquet).

Only a small percentage of people even know what I’m talking about. Which is strange. (And, that finding is matched by traffic coming from these sites — Digg is the only one that really has a ton of traffic when I compare notes with other bloggers).

By the way, Google only has 713 results when you search for “memetrackers.” MSN has 2,943 101 memetracker results. (Funny enough, both search services’ numbers are inaccurate if you actually count the links, thanks to my readers who pointed that out).

One place I’ve been watching this new space is on TechCrunch (Arrington wrote about the Memeorandum Hunters a few days ago).

So, what I wanted to ask is: “why don’t you use a memetracker?”