In my personal dictionary, I have defined google as “Excellence in Engineering”. I can’t express my admiration for their products, engineering practices & innovation culture. In such admired Google, I uncovered a silly bug, that too in their core search engine product. Are you surprised? Me too.

I recently launched my pet project http://gceasy.io/ – as a free online tool. This tool parses JVM’s Garbage collection logs & publishes interactive graphical visualizations to it.

I was curious to see how search results are rendered for this tool. So I googled for the term “gceasy.io”. Note: I am searching for “gceasy.io” (i.e. with double quote) instead of just gceasy.io. When searched with a double quote, Google will do exact word match search.

As always Google displayed the search results in a matter of milliseconds. At the bottom of the screen, in the pagination section, it was mentioned that there are 3 pages of search results. Please refer to below Figure 1.

bug in google

Figure 1: Page #1 of Google Search Results for “gceasy.io”. Pagination section showing 3 pages.

For a newly launched tool, I was motivated to see 3 pages of search results. So after quickly skimming through the results on the first page, I clicked on #2 hyperlink in the pagination section. Now I was taken to the second page of the search results. After reading through second page, I was looking for page #3 and “next” hyperlinks in the pagination section. To my surprise, those hyperlinks were missing. Oh, wow. Please refer to below Figure 2.

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Fig 2: Page #2 of Google Search Results for “gceasy.io”. Note in the pagination section page #3 and ‘Next’ hyperlinks are missing.

I can’t believe it. As I am an avid follower of  Google Test automation conferences (GTAC), their SET (Software Engineer in Test) practices, their Google testing blog sites, textbooks they publish on test engineering – I was surprised by this silly bug, that too in their core product. May be old Indian saying – “Even Elephant might loose its grip while walking” is true.

Benefit of doubt

In page #2, above the pagination section it was mentioned that: “In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 14 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.”

So I thought if I am going to click on the hyperlink “repeat the search with the omitted results included,“ I might see 3 pages of search results. To give the benefit of doubt, when I clicked on this hyperlink, I saw 5 pages of search results instead of originally mentioned 3 pages. Please refer to below Figure 3.

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Fig 3: 5 pages of search results being shown when clicked on the hyperlink “repeat the search with the omitted results included.“