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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

Google Search - Then & Now

Speaking at WSDM 2009, Google Fellow Jeff Dean in a keynote talk shared how Google has grown from 1999 to 2009. Various search engine enthusiasts have blogged about the facts presented in the talk from their own notes.

  • Google handles 1000 times more queries now with 1000 times more processing power (# machines * speed of the machines).
  • It uses 1000 machines to handle a single query compared to just 12 previously.
  • Query latency has improved from under 1000ms to normally under 200ms now.
  • Crawler updates now take minutes compared to months in 1999.
  • For many pages, search results now change within minutes of the page changing.
  • Rolled out seven major rearchitecture efforts in ten years.
  • In-house design from the ground up: rack design, pc class motherboards, linux, and in-house software (GFS, BigTable, etc...)
  • Google's machine translation models use a million lookups in a multi-terabyte model just to translate one sentence.
Popularity comes at a price. Google is now accused of harming the environment with it's energy consumption (a typical search uses "half the energy as boiling a kettle of water" and produces 7 grams of CO2) and for not practicing what it preaches.

Also see: How LARGE websites manage performance & scalability


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