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There seems to be come concern that some users are using Google hit counts as a measure of how correct a certain word or phrase or grammar pattern is. This post shows how the number under the Google search bar can be inaccurate by a large margin.

This is not to determine if using Google hits is or isn't accurate, but see if the community feels that using said counts as a source when answering a question is a problem for the site (i.e. if it brings down the quality of the site).

  • Are there any better alternatives (preferably without a paywall) than Google hits? – Andrew Grimm Jun 29 '12 at 22:35
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    @Andrew Grimm: How about using random numbers? It can be better than using Google counts. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 29 '12 at 23:01
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This is not an issue at all

No one uses Google counts as more than a litmus test to determine the relative rate at which a certain word or phrase is used by internet users. Therefore it has absolutely no problem to the site.

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    I edited this option so that the two options become somewhat symmetric. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 27 '12 at 22:37
  • @Tsuyoshi: :) I originally wanted to have most of everything in the "question" part, then I got turned around, but I think this is better anyway. – silvermaple Jun 28 '12 at 3:21
  • I wouldn't say that "no one" uses them for more, but most likely not enough people use it as more than that for it to be extremely problematic. – atlantiza Jun 28 '12 at 22:10
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This is a big issue

Many users make the mistake of using Google hit counts as a reliable resource over and over again. The existence of these ignorant users should not put a burden on other users to have to point out their ignorance. If this trend continues, the quality of the site and its answers will go down.

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    I am impressed by the fact that three people voted this up with the stupid repetition like “over and over again” and unnecessarily strong words like “ignorant.” Nice attempt to bias the opinion of people, though. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 27 '12 at 22:32
  • @Tsuyoshi: That's 100% fair. I was a little heated when I posted this, as it was a direct response to Sawa's post that was repeatedly deleted after I left a comment. I don't like this language either, but I pretty much copy and pasted from Sawa's post that has since been deleted. – silvermaple Jun 28 '12 at 3:15
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    "it's" is incorrect English when talking about possession. It seems that whenever someone's in a lecturing mood, they always make a mistake with their English. – Andrew Grimm Jun 28 '12 at 7:31
  • @Andrew: Oh, good catch :) Edited. – silvermaple Jun 29 '12 at 20:58

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