SerpApi’s Google Search API results serves all the results Google serves to users…But the amount of searches are quite different than what is being told below the search bar.

SerpAPI supporting a Google Search of “coffee” with 2,660,000,000 results

A misconception regarding Google’s search results is that all of the results are being served to the user conducting that particular search. Those 2 billion search results can’t be gotten through Google’s pagination, and it seems that this number is somewhat arbitrary to the search, or commonality of the keyword.

I rarely go past the 2nd or 3rd page of Google’s search results for any kind of query anymore, but these rankings of results are big business with Search Engine Optimization. I wanted to do a little case study on the actual amount of searches that get served to users for a couple different searches.

Google Search for “serpapi” with “about” 166,000 search results

Here are the breakdown of results for “serpapi” page by page until page 15. Numbered list

  1. 4 ads, 7 organic searches
  2. 5 ads, 10 searches
  3. 5 ads, 10 searches
  4. 4 ads, 10 searches
  5. 4 ads, 10 searches
  6. 4 ads 10 search results
  7. 4 ads 10 search results
  8. 4 ads 10 search results
  9. 4 ads 10 search results
  10. 4 ads 9 search results
  11. 4 ads 10 search results
  12. 4 ads 10 search results
  13. 5 ads 10 search results
  14. 2 ads 10 search results
  15. 2 ads 10 search results

For these first 15 pages there was 146 search results and on average 9.7 search results pages for the first 15 pages. I got to page 15 of the results and I came across this message at the bottom of the page. Google stated that there was 150 results served.

End of page 15 of the Google Search for “serpapi”

When I repeated the search with the omitted results there was a slight change in results on the initial first page:

Side by side of the Search with Omitted results and the original search of “serpapi”

So I then ventured to the end of the result pagination for the search with omitted results:

38th Page of “serpapi” with the omitted results

If we averaged 9.7 results per page on the previous search, then with this search we approximately got: 368.6 searches.

This is quite a difference between the 171,000, 166,000, and 153,000 searches that Google said that they were going to serve to us for “serpapi”.

The last test I wanted to do was manipulate the num parameter in the search url. I set the num parameter to 100, which is the maximum number of results you can ask on a single Google search HTML page.

URL for “serpapi” for a yield of 100 results

This HTML resulted in just two pages of results. So at maximum, a user could get 200 results. But according to the same kind of response we got to the end of page 15 of the Google Search for “serpapi”. There were 166 results.

End of 2nd page of Google results “serpapi” with a num = 100 urlencoded parameter

And with the same process previously, I repeated the search with the omitted results and the amount of results changed when I got to the end of the 4th page.

There was a total of 392 results with the omitted search function being ran. Which is the most accurate number of “served” results. And quite a difference between the initial “serpapi” with no num parameter of 166,000 “results”.

It is important to note that Google’s initial results without adding extra parameters provides a very large base number of results. And while not all the searches get returned to users, all of these results can get scraped with SerpApi’s Google Search API.

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