Not Googlable

There was a contest awhile back to see who can find 2 words with the least number of search results. Greater than Zero. It’s harder than you think. Here’s a different idea. Can you think of multiple words that give 0 results in the context of a popular real event, experience, or idea? But otherwise thousands of results.

It’s hard to prove there are 0 as you might have to read millions of entries. Here’s an example. Cheerio Floaters. In the context of seeing cheerios when you close your eyes. They are actually floaters. None of the results apply to the context I’m wishing for. Yet most people have seen these. I have read an article about this years ago, but it doesn’t appear to show up in the search. I have scanned 100’s of pages. But I can’t prove it’s not in 500k entries. Can you think of a better example?

I remember there was a time decades ago where nothing came up when you Google “Manchester encoding”.

Google is just now old enough to drive. It hasn’t been around “decades”.

And is your question about searches with just a few results, but not zero and not thousands? Or are you looking for terms like “cheerio floaters” that have hundreds of thousands of results, but none that are relevant?

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I don’t see a factual question here.

Moving thread from General Questions to Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS).

Is this something like googlewhack (

A local East Indian restaurant uses something called “salt paper” out of curiosity I looked it up on Google and much to my surprise I couldn’t find a single applicable entry. I wonder if they made it up?

Manchester encoding has been around since 1949, so if it wasn’t showing up in early search engines, all that indicates is poor quality engines.

You should read Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure. It’s something that probably can’t be done anymore, unless you change to a newer search engine perhaps.

In your other thread, I have already suggested some much better search terms (and some actual links) to research the question you have been asking. “Cheerio floaters” is not working for you because that is not what other people call the phenomenon.

The days of Googlewhacking - finding a pair of words for which a simple Google search returns just one hit - are now long gone. These days, if you enter multiple words into Google, if it can’t find any pages (or any more pagers after it has found a few) with all those words, it will generally return pages with just some of them. I may even return pages with high PageRank, but that only contain some of the words, ahead of low PageRank pages with all of them, or pages that contain some of the words several times ahead of pages that contain them all just once. There are some tricks you can use to try to stop it doing this sort of thing, such as enclosing each word, separately, in quotes, but in my experience this does not work very reliably. The + operator, which used to work well, will now find you only material on Google+. What is more, Google will often return different results on different machines, depending on such things as where your IP address seems to be located, and what cookies it has on your machine. Furthermore, the search algorithm is constantly tweaked and sometimes quite significantly changed, so Google may well not return the same results for the same person using the same computer from one day to the next. Google’s ability to find a page relevant to a carelessly constructed, casual search, ha improved greatly over the past few years; its ability to perform a precise, specific search has turned to shit.

On the other hand, if you enclose several words within a single pair of quote marks, so that Google searches for that as a “phrase”, you will easily come up witha string of words that return zero results. I just tried searching for “banana football chasm”, the first three unrelated words that sprang to mind, and. as expected, got no hits for that ‘phrase’. Google nevertheless decided to show me the results of searching for banana football chasm without quotes, for which it claimed to have found “about 26,100,000 results”, but even the first of them contained only two of the words. Perhaps there are pages with all three further down the list, but I am not going to look all through searching for them.

More likely that no-one had yet gotten around to creating a web page mentioning it.

Searching for the words with a “+” in front, meaning that the words must appear as-is on the page rather than as variants: I got zero hits for “+sphygmomanometer +drunkenness”.

As njtt pointed out, the + operator now shows you only material that’s on Google+.

Wow. A once-useful function, now turned as useless as a condom machine at the Vatican.

This came up a few years ago and the first two words out of my mouth were “sesquipedalian heteroskedasticity” which, without the quotes, gets 28 hits today (and only a handful then). So, it doesn’t seem to hard to me.

I think the “+” is now implied on all words; you don’t get an actual match unless all are included.

Put required terms first and optional ones after, using OR. For example, instead of “+this +that the other” use “this that the OR other”

Use “advanced search” from the sprocket for more options.

No, it isn’t. I regularly do searches where the top hit contains only one of the search words. I occasionally get top hits that contain NONE of the search words (confirmed by searching within page).

It’s probably a corruption of saltpetre/er, though off the top of my head I can’t think of any real uses for it in Indian cooking.