excluding terms on google
November 14, 2006 7:37 AM   Subscribe

why does excluding terms on google give me more hits?

I was searching on the phrase "Mission accomplished". It got 1,730,000 hits. Then I decided to remove wikipedia hits from my search. I normally do this by entering the term "-wiki". But that got 25,500,000 hits. Shouldn't excluding the term "wiki" give you fewer hits?
posted by goethean to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Personalized Results 1 - 10 of about 1,200,000 for "mission accomplished"

Personalized Results 1 - 10 of about 1,190,000 for "mission accomplished" -wiki.
posted by Jairus at 7:49 AM on November 14, 2006

For me, with personalised search off, I get 1.43m for "mission accomplished", and 1.39m for "mission accomplished" -wiki.
posted by matthewr at 7:51 AM on November 14, 2006

The numbers are estimates. There's no way Google is actually counting them. It was probably just a glitch in the way estimates are calculated.
posted by cillit bang at 8:08 AM on November 14, 2006

I posted a similar question a while back. There's some info there.
posted by gfrobe at 8:32 AM on November 14, 2006

I get the exact same results as matthewr.
posted by knave at 10:50 AM on November 14, 2006

Response by poster: Thats strange, beause I still get 25m, even when I sign out of google.
posted by goethean at 11:46 AM on November 14, 2006

I get the 25m too.
posted by sarahw at 1:03 PM on November 14, 2006

Best answer: see also

Your second URL contains "&safe=off" but the first does not, so it looks like you're comparing apples to oranges with SafeSearch added to the mix. But yeah, it's only an estimation, and I think I read that it can even vary wildly depending on which google datacenter your search gets handled by.

By the way, if you are looking to filter out wikipedia-mirror sites from results, there's a much better way than doing it with "-wiki": install CustomizeGoogle and use this filterlist.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:03 PM on November 14, 2006

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