The smallest positive integer that google has never heard of

September 7th, 2008 | Categories: general math | Tags:

I recently discovered a wonderful mathematical podcast called The Math Factor from the University of Arkansas and in their current episode they pose the following question.

“What is the smallest positive counting number that Google can’t find”

Let’s try a few searches to see what we can find:

  • ’10’ gives 15,360,000,000 hits so that is definitely not what we are looking for!
  • ‘35672’ gives 809,000 hits – better but still nowhere near
  • ‘567906’ gives 6,400 hits – getting closer!

As you might expect it is easy to come up with any old example of an integer that google doesn’t know about but the smallest will be somewhat harder to find. For example as I write this there are no hits for ‘56790636782356487252’ but that is rather large (and, thanks to this page, will probably result in a google hit soon)!

Can you do any better? If so please do not leave a comment here telling me what it is and please do not blog about it on your own site because, as soon as you do, it will lose the very property that makes it interesting. Instead, please send a message to the guys at Math Factor by using this link and tell them Walking Randomly sent you!

Update (8th September 2008): Michael Lugo has more to say on this question over at God Plays Dice.

  1. September 7th, 2008 at 13:52
    Reply | Quote | #1

    A similar question, with a smaller corpus: what’s the smallest positive integer which doesn’t appear in the Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences?

  2. Sean
    September 8th, 2008 at 16:38
    Reply | Quote | #2

    I just checked. 56790636782356487252 does have a google hit now. Way to go.

  3. manuel
    September 10th, 2008 at 02:16
    Reply | Quote | #3

    Your search – Two085331103Seven – did not match any documents.
    I’m wining here!

    *Edited by admin to attempt to stop google from picking up the number mentioned*

  4. admin
    September 10th, 2008 at 11:01
    Reply | Quote | #4

    Hi Manuel

    I made a little edit to your post to ensure that google didn’t suddenly start picking up the number you mentioned but then I started a little extra searching of my own and came up with.


    Which also has no hits on google (at the moment). That’s 20,635,777,853 lower than yours.

    Your move :)

  5. September 12th, 2008 at 21:31
    Reply | Quote | #5

    The number


    has no hits on google (at the moment). And it’s in the high 8 digits. So Michael Lugo’s guess is holding up pretty well right now.

  6. September 12th, 2008 at 21:35
    Reply | Quote | #6

    Then again, 5 minutes later the same number gets 10 hits. Weird behavior by Google — I wish I had saved a screenshot.

  7. admin
    September 15th, 2008 at 11:03
    Reply | Quote | #7

    Bad luck Dave – google moves in mysterious ways!

  8. admin
    September 16th, 2008 at 09:27
    Reply | Quote | #8

    A friend of mine, Kimberly, sent this one to me via email – it’s the lowest one I have come across so far


    google hit free as of 16th september 2008

  9. Mehul
    August 22nd, 2011 at 16:51
    Reply | Quote | #9

    The smallest possible integer with no hit on Google found:


  10. August 22nd, 2011 at 16:55

    Binary searching is fun. =)

  11. August 22nd, 2011 at 17:56

    @Mehul I just searched for that and got loads of hits :)

    You’ve inspired a new rule though….prepended zeros not allowed ;)

  12. Greek Lord
    October 16th, 2011 at 15:49