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April 22, 2008

I don't quite understand Google searches

Everyone will know that you can search Google for a word, and I should hope that everyone will know that you can search Google for multiple words. Fewer people will know that you can tell Google to omit certain words. When we compare these three methods, it shows that Google either doesn't work properly, or doesn't work as we think it does.

Allow me to demonstrate:

At the time of writing, there are about 9,630,000 results for "scientology", and there are about 746,000 results for "scientology -cult" ("Scientology" without the word "cult"). Now, logically, we would therefore assume that "scientology cult" would return the remaining 8,884,000 pages, but instead it gives only about 1,100,000.

What I can't figure out, is what happened to the 7,784,000 pages that neither contain nor do not contain the word "cult"...


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