Give or take a billion

Inspired by this post on Digg, I started running searches on Google to see what would yield a really high number of results. A search on “www” yields results “of about 9,160,000,000”. This is curious given that according to Google’s homepage, the engine is “Searching 8,168,684,336 web pages”. Perhaps they are extrapolating to sites that they are not searching. Or perhaps those “of about” figures are not very accurate. In general, those numbers are hard to verify since Google won’t display more than 1000 results to any query. The figures may be helpful in establishing relative popularity, although it’s unclear whether the system can be trusted to be reliable even to that extent.

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