Whats the relevance to have the query time, e.g. "0.26 seconds" or the count of the result set, e.g. "About 8,96,000 results" on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)? Does this anyway help users or is it just a KPI. How many of the people watch this data? You don't find this on Bing rather!

  • If it was just a KPI they wouldn't present it to users; users don't care about KPI. But since Google shows it and has shown it for a long time, it's likely their testing has shown users do care.
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 25, 2012 at 11:39
  • It probably started to show that it wasn't the search engine being slow, but people's connection to the Internet. Sort of a pre-emptive defense. Jun 25, 2012 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


It's a selling point. By showing that the search results were acquired in a short amount of time, they're advertising the speed and efficiency of their search algorithm.

This doesn't really affect the majority of users in a meaningful way, but from a UX perspective, they choose to show this off because it enhance (in a subtle way) the trust factor inherent in the results. By saying "returned in 0.26 seconds", they are implying that there is a mechanical reliability and efficiency to the process, which inspires more confidence in the results. This is the same reason they display the number of results found, even though most users will never see the millions of results returned by most search queries.

  • 1
    For the most part the "fetched X results" is usually meaningless as well; it's just emphasizing the point that google finds lots of stuff and it finds it fast. Though the "X results" can occasionally be useful to compare how common phrases occur relative to the others.
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 25, 2012 at 11:35

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