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Researchers Challenge Yahoo's Claims On Search Results

Researchers on Monday labeled as "suspicious" Yahoo Inc.'s claims that its search index is nearly twice as large as Google Inc.'s.

Yahoo last week crowed about the 20 billion items in its index, in an apparent attempt to flex a bit of marketing muscle over the search giant, which has 11.2 billion items. Yahoo, however, also acknowledged that the size of the index is only one factor in delivering quality search results.

But a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications found that on a random sample of 10,012 searches, Yahoo returned only 37.4 percent of the results of Google.

"It is the opinion of this study that Yahoo's claim to have a web index of over twice as many documents as Google's index is suspicious," the researchers said in a statement. "Unless a large number of the documents Yahoo has indexed are not yet available to its search engine, we find it puzzling that Yahoo's search engine consistently returned fewer results than Google."

Yahoo denounced the study, saying its methodology was flawed.

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