A strange Google result

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by panjandrum, Aug 18, 2006.

?

How many results do you get if you google "dedicated to take care"?

Poll closed Aug 28, 2006.
  1. I am in Europe and get 179 or something of similar magnitude.

    54.1%
  2. I am in Europe and get 913,000 or something of similar magnitude.

    5.4%
  3. I am in the USA and get 179 or something of similar magnitude.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I am in the USA and get 913,000 or something of similar magnitude.

    16.2%
  5. I am in elsewhere and get 179 or something of similar magnitude.

    5.4%
  6. I am in elsewhere and get 913,000 or something of similar magnitude.

    18.9%
  7. I am in Europe and get neither.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. I am in the USA and get neither.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. I am elsewhere and get neither.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It's like this.
    In a thread I am dedicated to +Ving in EO, roniy said that he found more Googlehits for "dedicated to take care" than "dedicated to taking care."

    Being surprised, I did the search myself and got a completely different answer.

    roniy and I have exchanged PMs about this.

    roniy gets:
    I sent the links I had used and the results I got.

    roniy has looked at this and responded:


    I have tried all kinds of variations on the use of "" in and around the phrase, but I can't ever get roniy's 913,000. He can't get my 179.
    Strangely, we are close, but not the same, for "dedicated to taking care".

    I have personalised Google on this PC and I wondered if that was the "problem". I tried on another PC that has no personalisation at all and I got the same results as I quoted before.

    It would be useful if we could get to the bottom of this.

    By the way, roniy and I are earnest seekers after the cause of this Google anomaly. We'll return to discussing the English question back in English Only after we get this GoogleQuirk resolved.

    Panj
     
  2. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    Here's my googlefight result.
     
  3. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Could roniy provide a printscreen of the search result?

    Jana
     
  4. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    Curiouser and curiouser…

    Google on my Mac - using Safari as browser…
    "dedicated to take care" = 180
    "dedicated to taking care" = 20,900
     
  5. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod, I say, Moderator

    Arizona
    American English
    I get roniy's result exactly, using IE on Windows -- 913,000 for "dedicated to take care". I had no idea that there was a UK Google and a US Google. I went to www.google.co.uk and got 918,000 for "dedicated to take care".

    The 5,000-hit disparity is even curioserer....

    Isn't there a way to contact Google and bring this to their attention -- and possibly get an answer?
     
  6. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    When I go to google.uk and use the search tool with no filters on, then I get results like roniy's: 913,000 results for "dedicated to take care", 19,800 for "...taking..."

    Note that the first page of results for the first sentence includes responses from Mexico, Africa, Poland, and India. Clearly this kind of search will not yield results representative of usage by native speakers.
     
  7. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    I switched to IE for the sake of the experiment - no change, my results are exactly whan Panj got.

    Jana
     
  8. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    The only filters I have are for adult content. :confused:

    Jana
     
  9. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    When I told Panjandrum by PM that my results were crap, it was because I then set preferences to return results in English only. Then I got (note that the complete phrase was still in quotes, as before):

    ...to take... 60,000
    ...to taking... 18,000

    Requesting English language results from the .uk domain only:
    ...to take... 604
    ...to taking... 27

    This just doesn't sound right at all.
     
  10. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    My results came with no filters and with "the web" selected, as against "pages from Ireland".
     
  11. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    I use IE on Windows XP and got the same results as Panji.

    On a related topic, the issue of the statistical validity of Google results often comes up at IE.

    Google results are particularly useful for Italian usage since we have nothing like the British National Corpus or the other academic corpora - nor do we have corpus-based dictionaries or grammars (like, say, the Longman grammar and learners' dictionaries).

    To be on the safe side, I don't just grab the figures and rush to post them but examine as many results as humanly possible to ascertain the quality of the sources.

    I don't know whether this deserves a separate thread, but what about the following issue that came up at IE recently? A phrase which coincides with my personal use got 160,000 hits. The competing variant got 3000,000. Another forero argued that, despite the 160,000 Google hits (and although the variant I use is listed in dictionaries without any labels), foreign learners should be warned that my preferred usage is "odd".
     
  12. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    From the responds here those from the US got results as mine and those from Europe got resoltes as panjandrum's.

    But as mentioned before even though "to take care" has got more results most of them were said by none native speakers. so I guess it just isn't right.

    So probably the results are based on the region , but why is that ? :)
     
  13. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Well that is really fascinating.
    I have set IE to respond with all languages.

    I wonder would it help if people could post a link to the search results as I did up in post #1?

    I also tried a Yahoo search:
    about 243 for "dedicated to take care" - HERE
    about 4,940 for "dedicated to taking care" HERE

    What bothers me about this is that although I treat all Google results with extreme caution (hence the Googlebore note) I had assumed that when I search the entire web in all languages for XXXX I will get the same results whether I search in Belfast, Bristol, Barcelona, Bologna or Boston (or anywhere else).
     
  14. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I'm using IE and got the same results as Panj.
    - switched to the UK page. - no change
    - tried German pages only. - no change so far
    - tested it with Firefox. - no change

    I'm really looking forward to seeing roniy's screenshot. :)
     
  15. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
  16. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    My results are like Panj's and I'm not aware of having any filters on.
     
  17. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    No, Kelly, our forum search links perish soon, not Google search links. The problem is that people in Europe (if roniy's hypothesis is correct) still get those 179 replies for "decided to take care" if they click on your link. We would need a printscreen.

    Jana
     
  18. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    From google.com:

    [SIZE=-1]about 913,000 for "dedicated to take care". (here)
    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 19,900 for "dedicated to taking care". (here)

    From google.co.uk:

    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 913,000 for "dedicated to take care". (here)
    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 20,900 for "dedicated to taking care". (here)

    From google.ie (Ireland--to compare with Tony):

    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 913,000 for "dedicated to take care". (here)
    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 19,400 for "dedicated to taking care". (here)

    From google.it (Italy):

    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 913,000 for "dedicated to take care". (here)[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]about 19,400 for "dedicated to taking care". (here)[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]---------

    So it seems "dedicated to take care" retrieves the same results no matter what, but like fenix I get a slight disparity, though mine is with "dedicated to taking care." As for my opinion on the actual grammatical issue at hand, I certainly put my two thumbs up (more if I had more) for "dedicated to taking care," so I find it strange these results. Therefore, I did this search:

    From google.com:

    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 56,600 for "dedicated to be". (here)
    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 271,000 for "dedicated to being". (here)

    From google.co.uk:

    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 57,300 for "dedicated to be". (here)
    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 285,000 for "dedicated to being". (here)

    From google.ie:

    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 56,600 for "dedicated to be". (here)
    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 271,000 for "dedicated to being". (here)

    From google.it:

    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 56,600 for "dedicated to be". (here)
    [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]about 271,000 for "dedicated to being". (here)

    ------

    Better.....


    [/SIZE]
     
  19. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    The google.com and the google.gr insist on giving me 172 result with IE, Opera and Netscape (ok so I have to uninstall one of them)

    here's the google.com one

    here's the google.gr one


    google.com gives me 19.500 for taking care

    while
    google.gr gives me 19.600

    No filters whatsoever mind you.

    Now what freaks me out is this:

    Opening the google.uk using the link Brian posted for 'take care', I get 176 results with all 3 browsers

    Using it in a different window myself I get 173 results

    That's with Opera though

    Using IE, google.uk gives 180 results

    while using Netscape it gives me 179


    Small deferences but still.


    P.S. I didn't vote because do I get 179 or don't I?
     
  20. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    From google.com.br : (Brasil)

    dedicated to take care - 913,000
    dedicated to taking care - 20,900
     
  21. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    My screen shot for 913,000 results for "dedicated to take care" at google.com:

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    [​IMG]
    For comparison.

    Jana
     
  23. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    Oh dear! I hope it was clear that I wasn't at anyway implying that the link Brian posted didn't indeed give 913.000 hits!

    At least the thingy that google uses to promote so to speak some pages works. It seems we all get the same first results

    P.S. Voted. I hadn't noticed the "something similar"
     
  24. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    This is interesting!

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    LOL! My page number 11 looks the same. :)

    Jana
     
  26. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    So are we to presume that google provides people situated in the US with a "deeper" search, providing more instances of the phrase in pages already mentioned?
     
  27. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Ok so I click "repeat search with omitted results included," and I try and go past result 190 whatever, and here's what happens:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Who would like to explain why I can't go to page 19 or see result 178? :D

    :confused::confused::confused:


    EDIT: Just for clarification: These two images represent the same page of my Google search--the top picture is the top half, the bottom is the bottom half (after I scrolled down). I cannot go past page 18 or result 177, even though it says I have hundreds of thousands of results left, and even though I chose not to omit any results.
     
  28. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    So both number of results have the same number of pages and the same last results? (same with mine too by the way)

    (my last one seems to differ a bit by the way when I choose to have the omitted included )
     
  29. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Yes, but the American figure is inflated by je ne sais quoi.

    Brian, it happens quite frequently. I search for a Czech phrase, I get 7 pages but the results actually end on the second page with the same explanation - similar results omitted.

    Jana
     
  30. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    OK, Jana and I have concluded that we both are able to see the exact same page and number of results, even after clicking "repeat search with omitted results included." This total number is 177, obviously less than 179, 180, and 913,000.

    So it appears Google retrieves the exact same results no matter where the search takes place or what local Google engine is used. The difference is in the reported total number of results, all of which have been wrong.

    Why?........

    (outside the scope of this forum? :rolleyes::D)
     
  31. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    So - just to be clear I understand - people in the US are being told that there are 913,000 results including all those that are very similar (and this is not true) whilst those in Europe are being told the truth that there is a total, including similar ones, of around 175?
     
  32. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Right Tim. :thumbsup: Except, I'd say the Europeans are being told "more or less the truth" since Jana claims (she told me by PM) that she could only view 177 results (just like me), even though Google said it had retrieved 179. So she is missing 2 results (not significant, I know...but what/where are they??), while I am missing about 912,800 results. :)

    I'm curious to know if anyone can see past results 177 (page 18 for me, but depends on your Google settings) on a Google search for "dedicated to take care of" (quotation marks included). Be sure to click "repeat search with omitted results included."

    Could I get some stats on that?
     
  33. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    With similar results included I can see 178:) The last posts are identical to those I see in your post 127. But it tells me there should be a total 180 (although it said 177 before I searched with similar results included).
     
  34. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    So we have the same last couple results, but you see 178 and I see 177 results. Want to go through them and find out which extra one you have?? :D (please say no)

    Even still, you are being reported two more results than you can see, just like Jana. This is quite a phenomenon.

    As for the other search--"dedicated to taking care"--I am reported 19,400 results by Google. I can get to result 603 (page 61 for me), at which point it gives me the "repeat search with omitted results included" option. I click. This lets me get to result 1000 (page 100 for me), coincidentally, leaving 18,400 reported results up in the air. So same phenomenon.

    I suppose this happens with almost every search (what would be so special about these). Has Google been lying to us all these years? :)
     
  35. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Taking into account the kind of thing Google is (which is mostly a mystery to me) I am not at all surprised to see small percentage variations around the total returned. What I have difficulty with is the difference between 179 and 913,000.

    It took me a long time to notice, as ireney has pointed out, that when you 913,000 people skip to page 17 of your search results, it comes to an end.

    I am so relieved that these bizarre results are not the result of bizarre behaviour by roniy or me:D

    I have asked for information elsewhere - in the GoogleGroups.
     
  36. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    Brian I clicked on your bignumber link, opted for ommitted to show up, last page is 18, same results, number of hits 175

    [​IMG]

    (Off topic

    Yahoo.com search 244 for "take care" 6,040 for "taking care"
    MSN.com search 527 and 4,682 respectively
     
  37. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The discrepancies between number of hits and number listed could be partly due to something appearing in a number of pages below the listed link.
    For example, if I have a 20-page essay that has I love turnip on every page, and every page is separately posted under the essay title page, would Google count that as 20 hits, but onlyl list the title page?
     
  38. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    But I think that is precisely what "similar results" means. It in fact doesn't mean "similar" it means "absolutely identical" I think.

    Here's something interesting which proves that the results are variable - for the other phrase I generally get 20,800 (so presumably rounded). I kept refreshing the page again and again and occasionally I get 19,400 results!
     
  39. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Absolutely. The other things would be nice to know - for the Americans who are getting the 913,000 it's very important to know what's going on!
     
  40. aleCcowaN Senior Member

    Castellano - Argentina
    I got a number of results similar to roniy's

    As I always say, don't trust Google numbers as its algorithms count pages pointed from other pages that contains the word or sentence, and I suspect it cracks the sentence in words while doing this.

    MSN is much more reliable to count total results:

    "dedicated to take care" 521 results
    "dedicated to taking care" 4690 results
    "dedicated to kill" 300 results
    "dedicated to killing" 1660 results

    take
    MSN = 314,734,555 results
    Google = 3,990,000,000 results

    taking
    MSN = 105,539,259 results
    Google = 1,180,000,000 results

    pages listed (as informed by them )

    Google = 8.1 billion
    MSN = 5 billion

    Being Google database size 8.1 billion pages, 50% in English, can each of them contain the word "take", and more than a quarter, the word "taking"? I suspect Google page rank algorithm and word steming are tricking us.

    I recommend not trusting Google to count how many uses a common word or sentence has. If you like to search about "serendipity" in Google, you get 14,200,000; and 1,099,431 in MSN; would be true that about 0.35% pages in English use this word? Give me a break!

    mimicry
    G: 2510000
    M:232010

    please! don't pull my leg!

    gulosity
    G:637
    M:657

    better!

    branchiferous
    G:1460 (shows 941)
    M: 189 (shows 72)

    a giant thingimagig still remains a thingimagig

    (You're encouraged to correct my English)
     
  41. cubaMania Senior Member

    I am located in California, USA.

    From dubyadubyadubyadot google.com:
    dedicated to take care 913,000
    dedicated to taking care 20,600

    From dubyadubyadubyadot google.co.uk:
    dedicated to take care 913,000
    dedicated to taking care 20,900
    (But only if I have checked "Search the web" not "Search pages from UK")
     
  42. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    Did you ever search the title of this poll in Google: "strange google result"? :D
    Not that many results but about 132. Hey, this is a google search! :)
    (I used the .fr one)
     
  43. swyves

    swyves Senior Member

    UK English, Living in Peru
    In South America (Peru), 180 rather than 179. The extra one, coming in top of the list? This site!
     
  44. Kolthoff

    Kolthoff Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Spanish - Argentina
    This is not the first time I read something related to "different" results from a search in Google.

    As a matter of fact, it was alleged elsewere that the results are manipulated by Google depending on the country of origin of the search.

    May be there is more to this issue than just repeated results being reported after a search.

    This could lead to a somewhat different and interesting debate: How much do you trust Google´s search? Is Google filtering out results that they don´t want us to see? If that´s so, is there an unfiltered web search engine? Did someone give Google the right to think they know better than us what is appropriate for us to see in the results page?


    Regards,

    Kolthoff.
     

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