Google 'caffeinates' its search engine

June 9, 2010: 12:52 PM ET

Google updates it bread and butter product with a new data gathering front end that updates far more frequently.

For those of us who played with the Caffeine Search engine that Google beta tested last year, today's news isn't wholly unexpected.  The Beta program was a new search engine, dubbed Caffeine, which constantly reindexes the web rather than doing it a bi-weekly intervals.  This led to more, more recent and more relevant results.

Inexplicably, Google closed its search engine beta only months after opening with nary a word.   I missed it.  It was better than the default.

Today, it is back as the default Google Search engine. (Yay!)  Results should be more relevant and more up to date.

Want to know how big Google's new search backend is?  They try to perspective its growth:

  • Every second, Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel.
  • If this were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second.
  • Caffeine takes up nearly 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database
  • It adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day
  • You would need 625,000 of the largest iPods to store that much information; if these were stacked end-to-end they would go for more than 40 miles.

A Google-provided demo of how search works is embedded below:

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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