Saturday, April 29, 2006

How Many Pages?

Tonight I was clicking through pages of search results at a website. When I started looking through the results, it was claiming there were going to be 21 pages of results.

A few pages into things, the site changed its mind and said there were only 18 pages. Then, a few pages later it changed back to 21 pages. Then as I nearly reached the end, it recanted and went back to saying '18 pages'. It stuck with that estimate all the way to the very last (18th) page, when inexplicably it went back to saying 21 pages despite the fact that the 'next page' button disappeared.

What the Heck?

I can understand the total number of pages being an estimate on the first (or even first few) pages. You might not run the full query, returning only enough results to populate the first page and estimate the total number of rows.

But as you get further into things, you should start to have a better idea of how many pages there are going to be. Certainly by the last page, when you are disabling that 'next' button you should be pretty dang sure this is the last page. It's just not that hard.

Or maybe there were three pages of top secret results I wasn't allowed to see.

3 comments:

Bill Roehl said...

My pet peeve is that Google will return different results (without any Google cookies enabled) on different computers.

I'm a avid Google Analytics and Google Sitemaps user and I try to make sure that my posts include relevant information and a good title that people will eventually search for.

Unfortunately, Google pwns me time after time by not returning results for information on my site that *is* indexed for *some* people while returning that indexed information for others.

I wish they made more sense :)

Steve Eck said...

Google's index is a mystery. I can easily find things in the internal Blogger search on my blog, but if I do the same search restricting to just my site, it finds nothing. Even for things like "Books:" that are in the title of all the posts.

And don't even get my started on how they usually link people into my monthly archive pages instead of the post-page directly.

Bill Roehl said...

Well, the reason you can't use Google to search your site is because very little of it has been indexed: see here.

Whereas, if you do that for my site, you'll get a ton of results.