I was contacted this morning by someone looking for SEO services, and the first thing I noticed while we were on the phone, was that when I searched for what they said was their most important keyword “house DJ”, I couldn’t see the number of competitors. There was just nothing there, where I expected to see a count.

Normally, for most searches, there’s a line directly beneath the tabs that tells me how many search results there are, and how long the search took. This is always the first thing I notice, because I want to see how much competition there might be for any potential new client.

Are there a million competing pages? Ten million? A hundred million? More?

This is a number that I like to know, primarily so I don’t commit to trying to rank for something that could be awfully difficult to deliver.

I know Google experiments all the time, and this same issue has been reported before, reported by Search Engine Land last year and as far back as 2010, but  after a little Googling, I’ve found what i think is a pretty consistent result for getting no counts or search time to show.  It looks to me, like whenever what you are searching for pulls the top ranking results from Google’s Knowledge Panel, there is no number of results. Interesting.

Here are a few more examples of searches that (for me) are not showing any counts, and all of them show knowledge panel results at the top…

Pro baseball players

Blues music (or any type)

NFL Football Teams


Does anyone else see anything different, or have any other theories here?

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