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  1. #1
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    Retrospective search for a word

    I want to know the frequency that a word appeared on the web a year ago so I can compare it to the frequency in a Google search now - to gauge the popularity of that word.

    Any ideas how I can do the first bit?

    TIA
    DK

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  3. #2
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    It would also be useful if anyone could comment on whether they think it is possible or not...

    I can't think of a way to search the web from a year ago - I don't believe anyone records a (searchable) snapshot of the web at regular intervals ... unless Google do it?

    Thanks

  4. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    You might like to consider just how much data exists at any point in time on "the web". At the end of 2010, someone wrote "Google estimates that the Internet today contains about 5 million terabytes of data (1TB = 1,000GB), and claims it has only indexed a paltry 0.04% of it!"

    Just how many copies of this data would you be able to make before you ran out of all the hard disks in the world?

    Have a look at this Wikipedia article about the Wayback Machine.
    BATcher

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  5. #4
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    Google Books Ngram Viewer searches books rather than the web, but it does deal with relative frequencies of words over time:

    When you enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how those phrases have occurred in a corpus of books (e.g., "British English", "English Fiction", "French") over the selected years.

    http://books.google.com/ngrams/info

    Bruce

  6. #5
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    Thanks BATcher, I'm sure you're correct, it's just not practical.

    Wayback keeps images of websites but nothing searchable.

    Cheers anyway.

    PS Where about in the SW are you? I come from Exeter - is that cultural these days? I haven't lived there since 1978!



    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    You might like to consider just how much data exists at any point in time on "the web". At the end of 2010, someone wrote "Google estimates that the Internet today contains about 5 million terabytes of data (1TB = 1,000GB), and claims it has only indexed a paltry 0.04% of it!"

    Just how many copies of this data would you be able to make before you ran out of all the hard disks in the world?

    Have a look at this Wikipedia article about the Wayback Machine.

  7. #6
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    Hey Bruce, thanks for the tip - I hand't heard of this before.

    I've had a look and a go and it's certainly a fascinating search engine.

    My task is complicated as it is an Italian word I'm searching about which can be a verb and a noun.... could be a tough ask this one!

    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Google Books Ngram Viewer searches books rather than the web, but it does deal with relative frequencies of words over time:

    When you enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how those phrases have occurred in a corpus of books (e.g., "British English", "English Fiction", "French") over the selected years.

    http://books.google.com/ngrams/info

    Bruce

  8. #7
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamkid View Post
    Where about in the SW are you? I come from Exeter - is that cultural these days? I haven't lived there since 1978!
    Exeter? Cultural?? Naaah! I'm in the CH/GL area.
    BATcher

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