The yooooo distribution

> By Matthieu Latapy and Fabien Viger

The yooooo distribution

The yooooo distribution

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…

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