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"These numbers are all crazily low," Farach-Colton [Martin Farach-Colton, a professor of computer science at Rutgers University] continued. "Google always reports much, much lower numbers than are true."
Whenever somebody from Google puts together a new presentation, he explained, the PR department vets the talk and hacks down the numbers.
MIT Technology Review [technologyreview.com]
Of course, they already are a large target (just look at the last few weeks) but apparently they've been turning the knob down for quite a while.