Some people even claim that Google result counts are a meaningless metric.
Well, “meaningless” might be an overstatement, but as a matter of fact, Google counts can be incorrect by the order of several digits or more. I think that many people trust Google counts without knowing their inaccuracy. Please think twice before using Google counts as an indicator of how common a certain expression is.
This confused some people on our site:
- Where's the negation in 〇〇も書けなりました?: see the comments on the question.
- two levels for teiru and rare: see the comments on the question and on ento’s answer.
There is a post on meta.english.stackexchange.com on the same topic.
Please try by yourself. You can see the inaccuracy of counts by yourself. Here is what I tried, reproducing the example in the second link above. I searched "られてられて" (with quotation marks) on Google. It said that there were about 37,800,000 results. (This number seems to vary from time to time.) We may take this large number as an evidence that the form “られてられて” is fairly common. However, when I went forward in the search results, the list came to an end after only 417 results! At the end of the list, Google showed:
In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 417 already displayed.
If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.
I clicked the link to repeat the search with the omitted results included, and did the same thing. This time it showed 500 results, which is larger than 417 but not even close to 37,800,000. This means that there is some problem with Google counts, and we should not believe them without thinking.