Apparently Yahoo and Google are having a minor debate about Yahoo’s claim to have indexed about twice as many web pages as Google.
But the question about the size of the Web came under intense debate last week after Yahoo announced at an Internet search engine conference in Santa Clara, California, that its search engine index – an accounting of the number of documents that can be located from its databases – had reached 19.2 billion.
Because the number was more than twice as large as the 8.1 billion documents currently reported by Google, Yahoo’s fierce competitor and Silicon Valley neighbor, the announcement – actually a brief mention in a Yahoo company Web log – set off a spat.
I’m not sure that it matters because what really counts, as the article points out, is the relevance of search results. But in my experience with several minor web sites, I’ve noticed much more frequent visits on more pages by the Yahoo spider than the Google spider. So a possible explanation could be that Yahoo indexes more of the smaller web pages.