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Google’s birthday is coming up — although it’s not clear exactly which one, or when it will actually occur, for a whole pile of reasons — and it occurred to me that the company must have done an awful lot of searches by now. After all, the most recent estimates I’ve seen are that Google processes more than 2 billion searches a day, although I have no way of knowing whether that’s true. So I started looking around for numbers and did some back-of-the-envelope calculations.

Here’s what I came up with (please keep in mind that I am an English major). If anyone can shed any further light on this — or fix the math — I’d appreciate it. Obviously, I had to make assumptions about what the average number of searches was during a year, based in some cases on nothing but a single number for that year, and I’m sure there are numerous other gaps of logic as well. Feel free to let fly with the suggestions, but try and remain civil.

1998: 10,000 searches a day (Google official history)
1999: 500,000 searches a day (Britannica)
1999 (September): 3 million a day (Google official history)
2000: 18 million searches a day (estimate)
2000 (December): 100 million a day (Google official history)
2002: 150 million searches a day (estimate)
2004: 200 million searches a day (IPO figures)
2007: 1.2 billion a day (Clickz)
2008: 2 billion a day (estimates)

which I roughed out to this:

1998: about 3.6 million total that year
1999: 500,000 a day to 3 million a day, or about 500 million total
2000: 18 million a day to 100 million a day, or about 22 billion
2001: assume about 35 billion average
2002: 150 million a day, or about 54 billion
2003: assume about 65 billion
2004: 200 million a day, or about 73 billion
2005: assume about 100 billion
2006: assume about 250 billion
2007: 1.2 billion a day, or about 400 billion
2008: 2 billion a day, or about 700 billion

which gives you about 2 trillion searches. Still a long way to go before they get to a Googol worth, which is the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. According to Google, there aren’t that many of anything in the known universe, including atoms. Update: My friend Om Malik has a great retrospective post about how far Google has come since he first sat down with Larry and Sergey. And the L.A. Times has an interview with Marissa Mayer.

About the author

Mathew 2429 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

51 Responses to “How many searches has Google done?”
  1. “According to Google, there aren’t that many of anything in the known universe, including atoms.”

    Excepting questions?

  2. […] far as I get, searching has become the top-most action of web users, who use Google about 2 billion times a day. So unless you want to keep your site a mysterious castle looking, please give me a search box. If […]

  3. […] far as I get, searching has become the top-most action of web users, who use Google about 2 billion times a day. So unless you want to keep your site a mysterious castle looking, please give me a search box. If […]

  4. I think your prediction in 2008 may be accurate . How did you calculate this number?

  5. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  6. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  7. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  8. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  9. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  10. […] 2.000.000.000 (two billion) – Número de búsquedas en Google cada día (muy aproximado) (fuente) […]

  11. […] 1,000,000,000,000 (??? ???????????????) – ??????? ?? ??????? ??? ?????????? ??? Google Index (????) […]

  12. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  13. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  14. […] Deux milliards de requêtes effectuées quotidiennement sur le moteur de recherche de Google. (Source) […]

  15. […] 2,000,000,000 (2 Milyar) – Günlük Google Search Say?s? […]

  16. WOW!

  17. Interesante articulo sobre cuantas busquedas hace google. Les adelanto, piensen en grande!! http://tinyurl.com/9oo4te

  18. You have to much time on your hands lol

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  24. […] Google has done 2 billion searches a day, or about 700 billion a year Source […]

  25. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  26. wow..am waiting for this.. One day this month will mark Google's official tenth birthday. They'll most likely celebrate with a blog post and a special logo..I read this from another blog..
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  27. Twitter Comment


    This is Fun to see the exponential growth! Has Google Done a Googol Searches? RT @tweetmeme [link to post] FYI…a googol=10^100

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  28. Twitter Comment


    @zapplepi Welcome to Twitter Ray! Some Math Here. Has Google Done a Googol Searches?[link to post] FYI…a googol=10^100

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  29. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

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  31. Twitter Comment


    @Emergent007 According to this, 2 billion searches a day in 2008 by Google [link to post]

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  32. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  33. did the term google have anything to do with the number googol??
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  34. […] the internet, many people first go to Google. There are roughly 2 billion Google searches daily! (source) As a lesser considered alternative, why not tap into the knowledge of people who use […]

  35. […] How many searches has Google done? […]

  36. cool! I like it very much! thanks for the news!

  37. cool! I like it very much! thanks for the news!

  38. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  39. So, why not to expand and add new results of 2009 and some guessing for 2010 :)

  40. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

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  44. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  45. […] 109.5 million websites. Search wise, although no official numbers have been released, it’s estimated that Google alone provides results to roughly 2 billion search queries […]

  46. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

  47. […] 2,000,000,000 (two billion) – very rough number of Google searches daily (source) […]

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