Google: big where it counts

The company has indexed the full text of 560 million Web pages and partially indexed another 500 million Web pages, for a total of over 1 billion pages, according to a written statement. A full text index includes all the words on a page, whereas a partial index contains only some information about a page, relying on links and data related by other pages, Google President and Co-founder Sergey Brin said.

One billion pages was not an overnight achievement, because, according to Brin, Google does not add new pages daily. Rather, the search engine scours the internet, building a new index which is added to the existing one every few weeks. At the time of the previous update, Google contained over 500 million total pages, with over 200 million of them being full text indexes.

Started at Stanford University with only 20 million to 30 million pages in its index, Brin says Google now offers users the ability to "search as much of the Web as possible with one search engine."

In comparison, rival search engines NorthernLight.com and Excite.com indexed 260 million and 214 million pages, respectively, as of June 2, according to data on searchenginewatch.com (http://www.searchenginewatch.com/reports/sizes.html), a website devoted to tracking search engines. Lycos announced on June 14 that it had indexed 340 million pages. Altavista.com weighs in at 600 million pages and Inktomi at 500 million pages, according to Paul Hagen, an analyst with Forrester Research.

Reports of index sizes ought to be looked at skeptically, says Hagen, because "everybody plays with the numbers." However, size is not even necessarily the most important factor in the success of a search engine, Hagen says. Instead, he suggests that overall site traffic, return visitors and frequency of use are more telling statistics, because such information is a better gauge of quality.

When viewed this way, Google's sheen is somewhat dulled. Hagen notes that Google does not rank in Media Metrix's Top 50 Digital Media/Web Properties - though as of the end of March 2000, it was the fifth most used search engine according to Media Metrix - and only receives 10 million queries per day, compared to Inktomi's 50 million and Altavista's 55 million.

That Google has powerful admirers despite these numbers was made clear when the company also announced on Monday that it has entered into a partnership to provide search services to Yahoo. The agreement will install Google's engine as Yahoo's search tool within 30 days, though Yahoo will retain its traditional browsing interface.

Yahoo's selection of Google as its main search provider comes at the expense of Inktomi, Yahoo's previous search partner. Though Inktomi's search technology will remain as part of Yahoo's corporate site, its stock was trading down $24.88, at $115.50 as of late Monday trading.

The agreement with Yahoo does not signal a move toward more formal portal status, said Brin. Google will still remain largely unadvertised, he said, preferring to rely on "word of mouth and quality of product" to bring users to the site. The site, whose traffic is growing by 25 percent a month, Brin says, is content to remain a player working behind the scenes of such higher profile sites as Yahoo and Netscape Netcenter.

"After seeing the results of other dot-coms who spent tens, or even hundreds, of millions on advertising," said Brin, "(becoming a portal) doesn't look appealing."

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sam Costello

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?