January 02, 2007

TROTT's 101 Ways to Pass the Time: #42 Don't Search for Porn

It’s always amused me that if you search for something on Google (kittens, for example) and then do the search again but exclude all pages containing the word “porn” (kittens -porn in this case) the given number of results will always go down; I’ve yet to find a word or phrase that’s so innocent it hasn’t had a single encounter with a reference to porn.

However, what’s confused me about the example I’m using is that kittens returns 12,800,000 pages*, kittens -porn returns 2,680,000 pages* (~10,000,000 fewer!), but kittens porn only returns 844,000 pages*. So either Google searches don’t quite work how I think they do, or 9 million pages keep appearing and disappearing in the time it takes me to search…

(* Correct at time of writing)


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