How many searches are done on Google per year?

How many searches are done on Google per year? pixelwork

How many searches are done on Google per year?

The search giant is not going to say exactly how many billion queries it processes, at the moment it is two or more trillion. In 2012 there were 1.2 billion.

After almost four years, the company has finally released an updated figure today of “billions per year.” How many billion, exactly, Google won't say. Consider two billion as the starting point.

At least 2 billion and less than 1 trillion

Google confirmed to Search Engine Land that because it serves “billions” of searches per year worldwide, the figure could safely be assumed to be two billion or more. After all, it cannot be 1 billion if two or more units are used for the plural.

But will it be more than 2 billion? Google could be doing five billion searches per year. or 10 trillion, 100 trillion, presumably even 999 trillion, since if it were 1,000 trillion, Google would advertise trillions of searches per year (Yes, that's the name for 1,000 trillion – I had to look it up!).

Google searches by year, over time

The current billion figure is probably close to double digits. This hypothesis comes from what Google has stated in the past. To understand that, let's go through the history of what Google itself has said in terms of searches per year.

An important note here: All the figures below are stated by Google itself, they are not from third parties. Also important: it's easy to find sites that claim to show year-over-year progression based on Google's own numbers on how Google searches have increased over time. Those claims are not valid, as Google has often omitted self-report searches, as will be seen below.

1999: One billion per year (based on three million searches per day in August 1999, as reported by John Battelle in his great book, The Search. The figures, I'm pretty sure, came directly from Google, which was more open when growth needed to be demonstrated of the company)

2000: 14 billion (based on 18 million searches per day for the first half of 2000 and 60 million for the second half, from numbers reported by Battelle. It's not a perfect estimate, but it's the best I can imagine)

2001-2003: 55 billion + (based on Google reports for its zeitgeist in 2001, 2002 and 2003)

2004-2008: 73 billion (based on Google saying it was doing 200 million searches per day in 2004. After that, it just said “billions” for 2005 and 2007, nothing was said for 2006 or 2008)

2009: 365 billion + (A Google blog post in 2009 said Google was doing just over a billion searches per day, then said nothing for 2010 and 2011)

2012-2015: 1,2 billion (based on a model of 100 billion, a figure Google released during a special search press conference in 2012. Google repeated this figure in 2015.

2016: two billion + (based on this story you're reading now!)


The difficulty in estimating beyond 2 billion

As can be seen, Google hails do at least approximately double the searches in 2016, which he did in 2012. That seems reasonable to believe. But couldn't it be more?

The best way I know to estimate is to repeat what I have done before. We look at what comScore, a third-party ratings service, reported what Google was serving in 2012. Below we compare it to 2016, to get the comScore growth rate for Google. That rate can then be applied to Google's own figures.

This is not perfect for several reasons. First, comScore only measures searches in the United States, not the entire world. Globally, growth could be very different. In second place, comScore only measures desktop searches, missing more than half of the searches now that happen on mobile phones with Google. Finally, comScore ultimately doesn't know what Google is actually processing. Only Google knows for sure.

Searches by second, minute, day and month

The bottom line: Without Google providing more details, assuming two billion or more searches per year is the safest bet, for those who want a real number instead of saying “billions.”

Those who cite figures often like to cite per month, day, or even seconds. If you go with two billion per year, with Google, here's the breakdown in rounded figures:

  • Searches per second: 63,000
  • Searches per minute: 3,8 million
  • Searches per hour: 228 million
  • Searches per day: 5.5 billion
  • Searches per month: 167 billion
  • Searches per year: 2 billion

Once again, a warning. Read all those figures as minimal searches in mind. Google said at least two billion searches, but it could be more. Likewise it means you're doing at least 63,000 searches per second, but maybe more, at least 5.5 billion searches a month, but maybe more, and so on.

Source: Search Engine Land