Maximize vs minimize search results
While many users are looking to maximize their search results within SerpApi’s various search engine APIs, there is a worthwhile counterargument to test the inverse and find the minimum amount of results with specific search queries.
While there is always a chance that Google may provide different results when changing or omitting the
num parameter it is worth exploring. Following up on the series of blogs I wrote earlier last year:
A minimum amount of results comparison
It is time to see what the minimum amount of results per page is per engine.
The use case that brought this to the point of writing a blog about was the Google Maps API. But I figured it would be best to start with Google Search as it is the most commonly used search engine.
First, the control group with SerpApi’s classic “Coffee” search engine in Austin, Texas…this time with the
num parameter omitted:
Now while the
organic_results only provided 8 items, there is a wide set of results,
Let’s try the search with a
num parameter of 10:
Almost the same results, 1 less
discover_more_places parameter, but that doesn’t change the fact that the
num is defined as:
…defines the maximum number of results to return. (e.g.,
10(default) returns 10 results,
40returns 40 results, and
100returns 100 results).
Now with a search with the
num set to 5:
We got 4
organic_results from the
num set to 4.
Back to back, the HTML is set up a little different with the global position of the elements but Wikipedia’s result is still in the 1st position of the
Going a little further here’s a search with
num set to 1:
Sure enough, 1
And NOW, with
num set to 0. We get no results at all, and a monster “gone fishing”
While there are other data sets other than
organic_results to scrape from an organic search, you can set the
num parameter down to and including 1 before you get no results with a
num parameter set to 0.
Side to side results from
num = 10 and
num = 5 results
organic_results the ranking is relatively in the same order. And there are some minor changes with the HTML global positions of some elements, but that is a common occurrence with searches back to back with the same exact parameters.
So far in this case study, there is no point in modifying the
num parameter below the default amount because nothing changes besides fewer data.
You can sign-up for SerpApi here: https://serpapi.com/
You can find the API documentation here: https://serpapi.com/search-api/