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September 23, 2006

Google Has the Largest Number of Dead and Old Pages

Ziv Bar-Yossef, from Google, wrote a paper about sampling random pages from a search engine's index using queries. He explains some of the technical details in this video, including the utility of sampling random pages: comparing search engines, estimating the amount of spam, of fresh results etc.

He applied the results from his paper and compared Google, Yahoo and MSN Search. Here are three charts that show a comparison of the index size, how many dead pages are in each search engine and how fresh the results are. The charts are only an estimation, and they have a bias of around 10%. As you can see, Google doesn't do very well.

To find out more, watch the video, which is fairly long (1 hour) or skip to the results. There's also the paper "Random Sampling from a Search Engine's Index" (PDF), that got the best paper award at WWW 2006.

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