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F-Secure Puzzled Over Google Results

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What is it about the numeric sequence 13123390 that has Finnish security firm F-Secure so curious about Google’s search results for it?

Their first blog post about the number appeared on Monday:

Make a Google search for "13123390".

How many results do you get?

Are you sure?

Explain what’s happening.

It looks like F-Secure and some other people saw some weird result pages, with ‘Results: 1-10 of about 5 for 13123390′ going on for five pages. But it appears most people are seeing normal results.

We’re seeing ‘Results 41 – 45 of about 31 for 13123390′, with the option of seeing omitted duplicate results. We opted to see them: ‘Results 71 – 71 of about 31 for 13123390.’

We guessed 31 represented the most pure results Google’s algorithm can give for the particular query. The others come from the supplemental index. But in taking a minute to count supplemental and non-supplemental results, we found 36 out of the 71 were labeled as supplemental.

Google does not show exact counts, in order to keep their search from being too useful to people who might try to game the system. Only recently did Google start showing webmasters more accurate information about keyphrase links to their sites from the search index.

That could be what Mikko and company at F-Secure are seeing with their query. Just some good old Google weirdness. F-Secure has followup posts with guesses from their audience about these search results too.

F-Secure Puzzled Over Google Results
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