> By Matthieu Latapy and Fabien Viger

For any integer *x* from 1 to 254, I launched a query on yahoo.com on the word *yoooooo*, with *x* o’s. In other words, I first launched a query on *yo*, then *yoo, yooo, yoooo, yooooo*, and so on. Why would I do so? Ask Fabien!

For each such query, I recorded the number of answers found by *yahoo*, and thus I ended with a number of answers for each value between 1 and 254, which is plotted above (black dots). (I had to stop at 254 because yahoo does not seem to accept queries on longer words).

For the sake of comparison, I did the same thing with various letters in place of *o*, and other variants. For instance, what I would call the *yaaaaa* distribution is very similar to the *yooooo* one. The *yxxxxx* one, represented on the plot by blue dots, is quite different (significantly below, and maybe sharper slope).

The green line in the plot represents y ~ x^-3 (*i.e.* the inverse of *x* to the cube). It fits pretty well the *yooooo* distribution, showing that it is close to a power-law of exponent 3…