Google stops counting

John Battelle says Google has stopped bragging over the size of its index.

Good. Now why not go one step further and stop telling us how many results we got for a given search term, which leads to the silly misuse of raw results to “prove” dubious assertions. Especially in courts of law, as in this Ohio case:

[The] judge who ordered a mother not to smoke near her 8-year-old daughter cited medical journals and a Google search that lists 60,000-plus links for “secondhand smoke” and 30,000-plus links for “secondhand smoke children.”

There should have been plenty of expert testimony to make that judgment. Throwing about Google numbers was unnecessary.

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