Hidden search results

Google sometimes hides search results to ensure that search results are varied:

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 15 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included. [foo site:squarefree.com]

or due to bad laws:

In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint for these removed results. [scientology site:xenu.net]

Bugzilla also sometimes hides search results, to protect confidential bugs such as undisclosed security holes. Unlike Google, Bugzilla doesn't tell you that there are hidden results for your search. This caused me to worry that potential employers would think I can't count. It also makes it impossible for Peter(6) and others to tell exactly how many release blockers there are.

When Bugzilla hides search results from you, why doesn't it inform you like Google does?

Hint: while "Because nobody implemented that feature" may be technically correct, that's not the answer I'm looking for.

8 Responses to “Hidden search results”

  1. Michael Lefevre Says:

    Sounds like something that wouldn’t be that easy to implement, because the answer to “why” stuff isn’t shown won’t, I guess, be a simple one that people can agree on.

    You’d have to work out which bits of closed bugs should be queryable (if you give any indication of a result based on, say, summary or comment queries, you could be disclosing important bits of the closed bug). I guess some might argue that merely knowing that the bug exists is an issue.

    Are you sure you’re not breaching the security policy by including closed bugs in categorised bug counts? :)

    I’m also amused that a google ad for scientology is appearing with this blog entry… I’ve just clicked through :)

  2. Doug Says:

    I’ve always appreciated the fact the google helpfully tells you what it isn’t allowed to list…

  3. Brian Says:

    I first noticed this as a result of the Kazaa Lite vs Kazaa scandal.

    Search Google: (and you’ll see the DMCA in action). Ironically, if you read the notice (at the bottom) it actually list which websites are being blocked — how silly.

  4. Brian Says:

    Apparently my HTML link was removed. Oh well. Just do a Google search for “kazaa lite”.

  5. Andrea Says:

    Why don’t you just file a bug in buzilla? It’s the best way to make the mozilla.org people aware of this.

  6. mpt Says:

    There are two things I don’t understand.

    1: “to ensure that search results are varied”. Why would Google want its results to vary?

    2: “that’s not the answer I’m looking for”. Why not? Why ascribe the non-implementation of a difficult-to-design feature (for reasons given by Michael) that would display the numbers (and nothing else) of some non-visitable bugs in search results, to something *other* than its apparent futility?

  7. Jesse Ruderman Says:

    1. Google doesn’t want all of the first 10 results to be pages on the same site, or the same page on several sites.

    2. Combined with Michael’s explanation of why the feature would be difficult to design, that answer is adequate.

  8. mpt Says:

    “Google doesn’t want all of the first 10 results to be pages on the same site”

    That’s handled much more by “[More results from example.com]” than it is by “we have omitted some entries very similar”. Hiding the same page on several sites (aka hosts) makes sense, though.