Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I was messing around surfing Google, trying to test something Dave Sifry told me about. The theory was that you actually couldn't get to all of the thousands of results Google says it has when you search for something. I searched for stuff and simply paged forward and found that in fact you did reach an end of search results rather quickly. The number varied so I tried it with "repeat search with omitted results." I found that you can get to exactly result number 999 and no results show after that. I felt like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show...

UPDATE: According to Adam Hill on IRC, it was on the Google Weblog too, but I can't seem to find the entry.


These results end at item #1000.

These results also end at item #1000 -- however, by adroit use of using inurl:, I have removed result #1000 from the first search. Thus, result #1000 is actual result #1001.

This set of search results also end at item #1000 -- however, by adroit use of using inurl:, I have removed both result #1000 from the first search *AND* result #1000 from the second search (actual result #1000). Thus, result #1000 is actual result #1002.

It is possible to see beyond the edge of Google, if you look indirectly. I'm reminded very clearly of a certain clipping error involving Lara Croft's anatomy and the playstation Tomb Raider game; if you walked up to a door and turned her very carefully towards it, at some point the game's clipping algorithms would decide that you (a) did not have any objects obscuring your view of what was on the other side of the door, and (b) were not intersecting the door with certain parts of the virtual anatomy.

It was extremely useful, being able to see through closed doors.

there wouldn't be as much of a problem with the edge of google if the top 1000 hits weren't so heavily biased toward retail catalog redundancy. generally, i don't want 1000 different ways to buy the same dvd... especially if i'm looking for some obscure bit of information about someone who happens to be on the dvd.

"-price" :)