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How does Google do it?

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

News 261

Doc Tagle writes "With Google reportedly on the verge of going public, more and more people want to know what makes Google tick. The Observer, serves up the answers to our questions."

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261 comments

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GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964433)

FROSTY PISS

I ATE MY MOM'S CLITORIS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964436)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_______|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


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How does google do it? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964437)

it's magic

Google Problems (0, Funny)

williamstephens007 (774041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964441)

If Google had chosen to go with a superior platform, they probably would have been able to go pubic already. When I meet with them I will recommend IIS 6.0, ASP.NET on Windows Server 2003.

Re:Google Problems (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964448)

cock holster.

mod parent down flamebait

Re:Google Problems (2, Funny)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964465)

If Google had chosen to go with a superior platform, they probably would have been able to go
pubic already.
Well, I suppose "Micro soft" isn't the superior platform for anyone's pubic ventures...

Re:Google Problems (1, Funny)

grommit (97148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964492)

Yes, and they will smile, pat you on your head and let you know that they'll consider your suggestion while forgetting your name, face and anything about you at the same time.

Openness is the first casualty of going public?! (4, Insightful)

Paul Townend (185536) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964445)

If truth is the first casualty of war, openness is the first casualty of going public

OK - I can (perhaps) see this as being the case prior to an IPO, but that statement can't be true after it has happened...

I mean....surely once they've gone public, they'll be obliged to detail and list the sort of information that the article postulates about? The shareholders would be entitled to know how many servers google has, what their specifications are, and what their current commercial strategy is.....surely?!

Re:Openness is the first casualty of going public? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964498)

They will not have to disclose the number of machines, the OS, the anything related to the machines. Wall Street isn't buying their technology, they are buying their cash flow.

If you do not believe me, buy a share of GE. Pick up the phone, call Investor Relations and ask them how many Unix computers they have and what OS and patch level they run.

Re:Openness is the first casualty of going public? (4, Insightful)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964638)

unfortunately the technology spending IS part of the cash flow. "We went dumpster-diving and picked up a dozen new machines for the indexing farm" and "we entered agreement with Dell to secure a reliable source of cheap Intel servers" would both show up on the shareholder statements but the impact would not be the same.
Going public WILL expose the siginificant portion of Google technology, more sp when it has to do with hardware.

Re:Openness is the first casualty of going public? (4, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964647)

The problem with that analogy is that what software they run has absolutely nothing to do with what they do to make money.

With Google, their entire "business" - their means of generating cash flow - relies on sheer quantity of computing muscle and high performance software for their search databases. With GE, their business is making lightbulbs, dishwashers, hair dryers, electric motors and any more of thousands of different products used in residential, commercial and industrial settings. How many Unix computers they have in all their offices around the world is a causality of doing business, not their means of doing business.

I'm sure if you asked the GE Investor Relations department something relevant about how their business operates, you might get somewhere.
=Smidge=

Re:Openness is the first casualty of going public? (5, Interesting)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964537)

I mean....surely once they've gone public, they'll be obliged to detail and list the sort of information that the article postulates about? The shareholders would be entitled to know how many servers google has, what their specifications are, and what their current commercial strategy is.....surely?!

Why would a shareholder care about server specifications? Investing is all about money. Read any quarterly report from a public company. Income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow are the primary interests on the numbers side as well as a general roadmap of where the company's heading. Warren Buffett doesn't care if each server has two 80 GB drives, or whether they have four 250 GB drives per server. The only thing that matters is that there are competent people to handle these kinds of "dirty details" that an investor doesn't give a rats ass about.

Take a look at the kinds of information [yahoo.com] you could expect from Google's quarterly reports.

Re:Openness is the first casualty of going public? (3, Insightful)

Blastercorps (762119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964625)

I disagree. An investor deserves to know at least general information about the goings on of a business. If I were a stock broker I would want to know that say: FruitCompanyA uses insecticide whereas FruitCompanyB doesn't. I personally would choose FruitCompanyA as a a rise in the insect population would ruin FruitCompanyB.

With google: before I give them my money, I would like to know how many servers they have, how close to capacity they are, what softwares they use (compatibility issues).

Honest reporting of operations lets an investor make an intelligent decision about their money and helps avoid boiler-room companies.

Re:Openness is the first casualty of going public? (4, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964756)

With google: before I give them my money, I would like to know how many servers they have, how close to capacity they are, what softwares they use (compatibility issues).

I agree it would be nice to know. But if those are your conditions for investing in Google, I think Google would probably tell you to keep your money. I imagine Google's quarterly reports would probably say something like:

"Our operation depends on having the ability to increase our server and bandwidth resources as we grow our services. Business may be adversely impacted should capacity be unavailable. Our servers are also at risk for viruses, worms, and DDoS attacks which could put the operation of those servers at risk and adversely affect business." etc...

That would give you, as an investor, the information you need to determine whether those risks are worth your money. In all likelihood you'll just have to rely on the fact that they have an army of PhDs who are smarter than you and I put together and know their shit when it comes to security, databases, clustering, etc.

Now I could be wrong. Perhaps Google is waiting for the IPO and will then detail their server infrastructure, wow Wall Street (and geeks worldwide) with their amazing capacity, and their stock will skyrocket on the first day of trading. I'd wager that Google's stock is going to have amazing gains anyway given that it's a bit of an industry darling. Other tech companies which have been thinking of going public would be wise to time their IPO very shortly after Google's and ride the wave.

Re:Openness is the first casualty of going public? (2, Insightful)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964767)

Do you know how many servers IBM have? Akamai? Microsoft?

Be reasonable.

Financial information is important, their business plan is important, it is probably important to know that they are running Linux so that SCO-type problems can be factored in. The sort of fine technical details the Observer goes into are totally irrelevant, just an incidental business expense. We know that it all works and that Google are on top of what they do. That is what matters.

first casualty ?? (4, Informative)

Sad Loser (625938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964667)


Recycling without attribution [technologyreview.com] is the first casualty of bad journalism.

I thought I had read this article before, and then I realised, I had read it before...
(although I now realise that you are not supposed to read the linked articles before posting comments - sorry)

Google is faltering (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964447)

Google has been at 4.285 billion pages for more than three months straight. The count hasn't increased in a long time... The index is maxed.

Google has recently removed tens of thousands of "duplicate content" sites from its index - where "duplicate content" is as simple as being an affiliate site (e.g. Amazon) and having the same textual item descriptions as many other sites.

Google is now in the process of dropping millions of link records from its index, presumably to make room for more pages.

Google is wavering.

Gmail is a distraction, a venture into some other space to keep people from noticing that their search product is degrading.

May she last as long as possible...

Re:Google is faltering (1)

shachart (471014) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964477)

Google has been at 4.285 billion pages for more than three months straight. The count hasn't increased in a long time... The index is maxed.

Either that, or they're indexing more pages than they are letting on. Don't forget they also have 10K servers for around a year.

Interesting (3, Interesting)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964483)

I lost a couple of sites from Google this month, presumably due to duplicate content; they were nearly verbatim clones of some of my other sites. The original sites are still there, the "clones" vanished from Google. As in, even if I search for those domains directly, I get nothing, where I used to get a cached copy of the sites. They've quite literally vanished from Google's database.

Can you back up your assertions that Google's index is full? It's a rather interesting theory, and perhaps an explanation for all the tweaking they've done lately.

Re:Interesting (4, Informative)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964551)

Google is definitely cracking down [webworkshop.net] on duplicate content [seochat.com] . In fact, they've recently patented [searchguild.com] the concept.

Insert software patent debate (where Google is the default hero due to its geek factor) here...

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

galaxy300 (111408) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964594)

It's possible that their index is full. A more likely theory is that they don't really see the benefit of having content duplicated throughout the database.

How many times have you run a search and seen a link at the bottom that says something like "Google removed information from this search that is redundant to information already displayed on the page" (Can't remember exactly what it says right now). Usually, there's nothing valuable in the hidden links - why index them at all?

Why Verbatim Clones??WAS:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964678)

IANACS (...computer scientist)

Why did you have verbatim clones of sites?

Are you running pr0n sites that exist soley on the purported 'AD' dollars coming your way??

I do not mean disrespect for the pr0n industry... I know that they generate BILLIONS of dollars..

But Seriously, what is the general utility/usefullness of numerous identical sites??

-i am not a comp scie...

Blah

Re:Google is faltering (5, Insightful)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964526)

"Google has been at 4.285 billion pages for more than three months straight. The count hasn't increased in a long time... The index is maxed."
Hmm... are they using a 32-bit integer to keep the page count?
2^32 = 4.294 billion, pretty close to 4.285 billion pages.
Newbies...

Re:Google is faltering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964597)

Yeah, those hundreds of PhDs they have working there will *never* figure that out. I hear they started with a 16 bit signed integer for their primary key and only after months of hard work upgraded it to 32 bit. Time to close down shop, it's impossible to fix.

Re:Google is faltering (3, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964676)

Yeah, those hundreds of PhDs they have working there will *never* figure that out. I hear they started with a 16 bit signed integer for their primary key and only after months of hard work upgraded it to 32 bit. Time to close down shop, it's impossible to fix.

Actually, they already have the fix implemented, and it's currently in the process of being rolled out. The upgraded system makes use of a split primary key which comprised of a "selector" subkey and a "segment" subkey. The selector key is shifted left by four bits and then arithmetically added to the segment key. This clever scheme expands the index by a factor of 16; Google will soon be able to host over 64 billion pages!

Re:Google is faltering (2, Funny)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964735)

"64 billion should be enough for anybody" .. ?

Re:Google is faltering (2, Interesting)

Dayflowers (729580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964620)

Precisely what I thought. But the question now is: did they miscalculated the amount of pages they'd end up indexing? Or was it something they accepted for performance considerations? And are they now in the process of upgrading perhaps?

Re:Google is faltering (4, Funny)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964683)

I bet you wouldn't know you need more than an unsigned 32 bit integer before you hit it.

On a side note I would really like to know which one is page number 1.

Diego Rey

Re:Google is faltering (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964729)

On a side note I would really like to know which one is page number 1.
Why, www.google.com [google.com] , of course!

alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964592)

So how can an open/free alternative service can possibly happen?
The only way I can think of is to have a distributed system around the world

Re:Google is faltering (1)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964701)

Wouldn't it be fair to say that the index probabaly isn't maxed out because the number of actual websites indexed wouldn't be the limiting factor?

Wouldn't it be the keyword index?

Image the slashdot front page? How many 'keywords' or 'whatevers' would you have to categorize and organize to maintain a searchable structure? 100? 1000?

So if you have 100 rows in a DB relating to 1 page then the DB would have been maxed out a factor of 10^2 ago instead of now...

Right?

How does Google do it? (5, Funny)

Talez (468021) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964450)

PigeonRank [google.com] ! Duhhhhhh

Re:How does Google do it? (2, Funny)

theRG (770574) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964769)

My favorite Google features:

http://labs.google.com/
http://www.google.com/i ntl/xx-klingon/
http://www.google.com/intl/xx-elm er/

My theory: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964451)

A large infusion of cash from some scary-assed three letter agencies that would be very interested in a centralized repository of the tastes and proclivities of nearly everyone in the world connected to the Internet.

Re:My theory: (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964610)

I think you'll find $25billion to be a bit out of their price range. To get a grasp on reality, you might want to check out the federal budget, then combine the numbers for all 5 of those 3-letter agencies. Then ponder for a moment what a $25Bill whack would do.

Re:My theory: (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964626)

So you're telling me you think the amounts shown in the Federal Register are the real budgets for all those agencies? Next you'll be telling me you think the Iraq invasion wasn't about oil and that Diebold is an impartial producer of reliable voting machines.

Another Rumor... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964452)

*yawn*
At least it isn't an SCO "update".

Re:Another Rumor... (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964730)

.. or another iPod article..

Here (4, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964457)

> If truth is the first casualty of war, openness is the first casualty of going public.

Maybe this is the reason after all, but I think it's more about Google being simple, smart and clean. They play fair (no browser interstitials, no sneaky crap, no registration necessary...etc); I would equate Google's victory thusfar to a kind of no-nonsense attitude to business, always, no-exception.

Re:Here (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964615)

They play fair (no browser interstitials, no sneaky crap, no registration necessary...etc)

And the fact that there are so many articles, from people that just can't understand why google is successful, just goes to show you how screwed we all are...

Practically everyone in business is determined to be as evil as possible torwards their customers (and employees) and assume that anybody doing anything else must be doing something wrong, no matter what all other indicators may say.

For a great example, read The Wal-Mart Myth [guerrillanews.com] .

Not true in the slightest (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964654)

If they are playing fair, (i.e. sans "sneaky crap"), then:

1) Why are their terms of service / Pirvacy Policy so vague?

2) Why does their cookie stay until the year 2038?

3) Why does their Google search bar report information and auto-update without permission?

Google freaks me out after reading this page:
http://www.google-watch.org/

Sorry if that's a bit paranoid, but if you have some counter-information I'd be glad to read it.

Re:Not true in the slightest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964681)

Yes, it is alarming. I've been rejecting cookies from .google.com for about a year now, and I would recommend to anyone else to do the same.

Tinfoil Hats (4, Informative)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964768)

> 1) Why are their terms of service / Pirvacy Policy so vague?

This is to keep it simple. Exacting legal language is the path to screwing people. Vague terms of service are good because both sides can wiggle. Has anyone been sued because of these terms of service? I'd like to see some refs to that, but I'm guessing it's just to protect the general public from a-holes who would exploit Google.

> 2) Why does their cookie stay until the year 2038?

Not to be funny, but someone at Google likely knows when the end of the world is coming and has set the cookie to reflect this. Seriously, who cares how long cookies stay alive for? You can block them if you like, but I think it's really just to keep Google more effective.

> 3) Why does their Google search bar report information and auto-update without permission?

I'm against Spyware, so I don't run it, but Google tracks searches anyway, so what's the point of getting upset about it? These technologies makes Google more user-friendly. Google doesn't have loads of popups trying to get you to install the bar -- it's not right in your face. People who want it likely don't care if it auto-updates because then they have the most recent version of it.

Dupe! (1)

shachart (471014) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964461)

or at least, a variation on a dupe [slashdot.org] .

They have built an amazing system using Linux... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964464)

Sure would be nice to see some of that amazing tech coming back into the community...

Article didn't say much (4, Interesting)

krs-one (470715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964466)

I read the article and it didn't say much at all about how Google operated. Instead, it just said we don't know how they operate because they keep it secret. But maybe that was the point to begin with.

-Vic

Soon to be everything (5, Interesting)

WhitePanther5000 (766529) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964469)

The only thing it's missing now (IMO) is spellcheck and an online translator, which I'm sure they're already planning. I'm also looking forward to Gmail being open to the public. After they conquer these 3 thing, whats next.. Google ISP? Google National Army?

Re:Soon to be everything (5, Informative)

richard_za (236823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964509)

Google already has spell check, and so does Gmail have a look at the screenshots [camara.co.za] on my blog [canara.co.za] . I believe they're looking at releasing it to the public in six months time, have a look at this article [eweek.com] .

Re:Soon to be everything (0, Flamebait)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964547)

Google already has spell check...

What, as in "Did you mean french military defeats"?

Re:Soon to be everything (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964530)

The only thing it's missing now (IMO) is spellcheck and an online translator, which I'm sure they're already planning. I'm also looking forward to Gmail being open to the public. After they conquer these 3 thing, whats next.. Google ISP? Google National Army?

Google has had a builtin spellchecker forever and their translate tool is right here http://www.google.com/language_tools [google.com]

Re:Soon to be everything (2, Informative)

evilmonkey_666 (515504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964634)

Umm is this a joke, they do have a spellchecker built into the search engine. I use it on a daily basis.

And their online translator is here [google.com] .

Re:Soon to be everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964781)

Google's spellchecker can be found on this page [google.com] . As for the Google National Army of America, you do realize what the acronym for that is, right? :)

As a consultant (5, Informative)

elinenbe (25195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964472)

having been a consultant at their data center a year or so back I can attest that they had well over 50,000 machines. I am not sure about the 80GB drive per machine because from what I understood was they bought whatever drive at the time was the cheapest MB/$ and would replace any dead ones with the larger ones. Also, at any given time machines just die and many of them are not replaced or repaird for months. Their cluster accounts for all this...

Re:As a consultant (5, Informative)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964496)

But also realize that the data center you were at isn't their only one. I know of at least 7 physical locations and there are probably more out there.

But yeah, their racks of 4 servers/1U is pretty impressive when you see them lined up in row after row of racks. Their data centers have to bring in extra cooling because they are so densely packed.

Re:As a consultant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964574)

4 servers per 1U? Assuming 1/4U rack servers aren't available, how is this done? Blade servers which average out to 4 servers/U?

That article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964475)

...didn't answer shit.

Huh? (1, Informative)

lawrencekhoo (108310) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964479)

There are no answers in the article at all. Just the usual questions about how Google's publicized statistics don't add up.

Re:Huh? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964512)

Not just that, it seemed to me the entire article was based on 2 statistics that didn't add up. Statistics, I hasten to add, which don't even reflect the internal structure, and which could just as easily have come from an ISP grepping their logs and multiplying quite a few times.

Re:Huh? (1)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964741)

Indeed, just those two very simple-minded calculations.

It's a very dumb assumption that all machines contain 80gb drives, and that that's all the storage they're using (what about e.g. SANs)..

Two Thingies (5, Interesting)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964487)

One -- Slashdot seems to be into content-directed ads now... as google was my ad for this story.

Two -- If you want your pages indexed faster and more frequently, sign-up and place a google adsense ad on your page. Many webmasters believe that google is having to index so many adsense pages... that is difficult for google to add many more non-ad driven pages.

Just sign up for adsense and run it a couple of weeks while you build your site. After google has spidered your site well, then just drop adsense.

Good luck. I would love to hear any of your google-related tricks.

AC

Re:Two Thingies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964561)

I got an ad for Windows Server 2003. I'm unable to verify your second claim, but so far you're 0 for 1.

Re:Two Thingies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964648)

Also, just to mention that I've been seeing that Google ad for quite some time on Slashdot, and it gets randomly shown for any article. Keep hitting reload and watch the ad change. Microsoft and Google seem to be the primary two ads being shown in the square box below the article.

Google does it with Linux :o) (1)

maharg (182366) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964518)

'nuff said.
(You may wish to take issue with the above..)

Can we drop the Google fetish already? (1)

Gay Nigger (676904) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964528)

It's really embarassing.

Additional questions (0, Redundant)

lewko (195646) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964529)

Why do NONE of the statistics ever mention the pigeons? [google.com]

Google search for the letter "a" resulted in 3,530,000,000 hits [search took 0.12 seconds].

Re:Additional questions (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964671)

Google search for the letter "a" resulted in 3,530,000,000 hits [search took 0.12 seconds].

Neat. I wonder what doing a Google search would return for other letters:

"c" -- 299,792,458 hits
"e" -- 2.71828183 hits
"h" -- 6.626068 × 10^-34 hits
"i" -- sqrt(-1) hits
"k" -- 1.3806503 × 10^-23 hits

Looks like Google is definitely busted. They should fix these bugs.

The "searching xxx web pages" count (1, Redundant)

shish (588640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964531)

Perhaps this is another form of secrecy - the number of pages indexed never seems to go up, except in huge jumps. According to archive.org, it's been stuck on 4,285,199,774 pages for about a year now :/

Re:The "searching xxx web pages" count (1)

bolind (33496) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964703)

Perhaps this is another form of secrecy - the number of pages indexed never seems to go up, except in huge jumps. According to archive.org, it's been stuck on 4,285,199,774 pages for about a year now :/

Anyone notice 4,285,199,774 just so happens to be ~99.8% of 2^32? Is this a 32bit counter about to overflow?

Re:The "searching xxx web pages" count (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964734)

Searching for 'the' [google.com] gives about 5,740,000,000 pages while they index 'only' 4,285,199,774 web pages... Anyone knows why?

I know I know! (0, Redundant)

Flingles (698457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964545)

more and more people want to know what makes Google tick

Google has already told everyone what makes them tick! Imagine, a beowulf cluster of pigeons [google.com]

Google can't do it: phrase searches (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964552)

How does Google do it? They still can't do accurate phrase searches. A search on "to be or not to be" comes up with 2 or so in the top 10 links not even containing that phrase. (sure, the bogus links are related to the phrase, but they do not contain the actual phrase as Google's own description of how it works says it would). This is just the most obvious example of error results.

Interestingly, a9.com, which copied Google, contains the same search errors.

Re:Google can't do it: phrase searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964570)

Obviously you are full of it as I just did a google search and there are eight exact matches in the top ten. Not two as you claim.

See for your self: http://www.google.com.au/search?q=+%22to+be+or+not +to+be%22+&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&met a=

Idiot. RTFP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964588)

"Obviously you are full of it as I just did a google search and there are eight exact matches in the top ten. Not two as you claim"

That's what I said, idiot. See parent: "2 or so in the top 10 links not even containing that phrase"

Duh. 2 of 10 without means 8 with. Duhhhh....

Do you work for the Congressional Budget Office? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964619)

Do the math. 8 exact matches in 10 leaves 2 that do not match. The AC said that there were 2 that did not match.

If you did not know that 10 - 2 = 8, it is a wonder you can even turn on your machine. Or has Mommy let her pre-scrooler use slashdot?

the reason they keep their mouth shut (5, Funny)

gevmage (213603) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964562)

It's quite possible the reason that they keep their mouth shut about their capabilities is to avoid the NSA (or someone like them) to come calling. After all, they basically have a distributed database of the entire net, which they index efficiently on a continuous basis. Who wants to bet that their system is better at gathering intelligence than any government agency in the world?

On the other hand, here's the conspiracy theory version: what if Google IS the NSA? The IPO is a smokescreen to try to avert attention. The reason they can't show their true capability is that when the company goes public, only 20% of their hardware will actually go into the public company "Google", the rest of the hardware will still be hidden and a part of the NSA's system. :-)

[For the humor impaired, I'm just joking, but it does make you wonder...]

the NSA, FBI and CIA would panic (0, Redundant)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964577)

and google would be nationalised in an eyeblink as soon as they realised that google has enough computing power to do simulation of nuclear weapons :) possibly in realtime !

that must why they're so secretive !

-1 baby (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964580)

I love -1 posts on slashdot. These days, they're all I read. From the hilarious (if not shocking) GNAA posts to the best in random humor, -1 posts have it. I mean, seriously! And if this post gets modded -1, I will be in heaven, in heaven!!!

I've though about this a bit (3, Interesting)

gtoomey (528943) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964582)

The software/hardware architecture seems impressive.

Putting on my computer scientist hat I would guess:
- instead of backup, hold data in multiple places at once
- use a "cascaded rsync" to trickle software changes to thousands of nodes
- then load software via NFS at node bootup
- use nodes just to store data; keep software in RAM for speed

Just a few thoughts.

google instant messenger, or... (4, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964598)

GIMMEE would be nice. Well, nice for awhile and if they didn't get weird with it. Don't know if that could happen though, nature of man and all that philosophical stuff. Goes along with the current VoIP articles. They would dominate the net then if they implemented that. I know I would pay cash to them have a universal works great, any OS VoIP and no-spam, no commercial email service.

So far we know they have just a cubic load of servers, the most on the planet most likely with one private company. The government probably has more, but it's a mish mash of them, not near as sleek or coordinated, AFAIK. What COULD be next with them, practical cheap 50 dollar thin clinets that you could do a TON on, using distributed computing, from games to communication to running any business? With tech savvy like they got and their already established heavy hardware base and heavy committment to R&D, they could just 'splode with an extra 25 billion in cash all of a sudden from an IPO. OR, the money could get to them and they become just another weird company that forgets it's roots as "brains come first" and switch to "marketing crap comes first" like certain other unnamed megacorps do now.

Interesting times

How Google do that? (4, Informative)

elpecek (712453) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964599)

For those who haven't read - there is an article written by Brin and Page - maybe a little outdated, but still interesting: The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine [stanford.edu]

Re:How Google do that? (3, Informative)

jvsanford (660375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964736)

There is also a paper that describes their storage infrastructure (Google File System) here [rochester.edu]

More Patches? (-1, Troll)

Sammich (623527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964605)

From Article: "Managing such a vast server-farm is a formidable task. For example, how do you implement security patches and operating-system upgrades (much more frequent in Linux than in proprietary systems from Microsoft or Sun) on thousands of servers without causing disruption to service?" Really?

Supplmental Result (3, Interesting)

Richard5mith (209559) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964622)

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Google has run out of docid's, hitting the 32-bit integer limit.

The best evidence is doing a search which returns results which say "Supplemental Result" next to them. That'll be coming from a second document store I'd guess.

Re:Supplmental Result (5, Interesting)

Webz (210489) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964745)

That doesn't make any sense. A well-designed system is a transparent one, so Google would have no reason to let you know that they're running out of IDs.

By the way, for supplemental result... By doing a quick keyword search on Google using my domain name, I'm led to believe that pages marked "Supplemental Result" are pages that look like search results. That is, they aren't filled with any real content, other than search results from other engines. Results that could "supplement" your "result" from Google.

Useless story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964624)

They requoted all of Garfinkel's observations without adding *anything* to it...not a single insightful/informative sentence which adds anything to his article...they might as well have redirected the readers there.

Objection! (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964631)

"For example, how do you implement security patches and operating-system upgrades (much more frequent in Linux than in proprietary systems from Microsoft or Sun)"

Sustained, thank you :)

I know lot's of people don't read the articles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964637)

...hell, me the anonymous coward post a lot of stuff sometimes and don't read the stuff either.

But in this case I think this is an article really should read. Here is the first paragraph, really great trick too!

Here's a cheap trick to play on an audience - especially one drawn from the business community. Ask them how many use Microsoft software. Virtually every hand in the room will go up. How many use Apple Macs? One or two - at most. How many use Linux? If the audience is drawn from corporate suits, no hands will show. Now comes the punchline: who uses Google? A forest of hands appears. 'Ah,' you say, 'that's very interesting, because it means you're all Linux users.' Stunned looks all round.

Larry Augustin (1)

kevcol (3467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964738)

Larry used to use that in the pitch for institutional investors before VA went public. That's where that came from.

It'e very simple...Ninnle! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964655)

They run Ninnle Linux, of course!

OMG! 2 jokes in one sale! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964670)

"Google has far more computing power at its disposal than it is letting on. In fact, there have been rumours in the business for months that the Google cluster actually has 100,000 servers - which if true means that the company's technical competence beggars belief."

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of Googles!

Also:

Better get Ahnold ready, Google has to be taught a lesson for trying to make the Skynet.

Satan (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964675)

Geeze, everybody knows the prince of darkness is the font from which Google's power flows.

Simple answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8964680)

They're about to go public. Pumping your stock up involves a stream of "improvements" and conquests after you go public to show investors that your company is king of the hill. Why spend that ammo now rather than wait until it actually generates value for the company?

Linux needs more patching? Does it? (2, Interesting)

MicklePickle (220905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964692)

much more frequent in Linux than in proprietary systems from Microsoft or Sun

Huh? Does it!? Since when? I like these throw-away lines the media people dish out. What is their basis for this statement? Even when they see Linux obviously succeeding, they dish out a statement like this.

I certainly don't have to patch my Linux boxes as frequently as my Windows boxes. Actually... no... wait, they're right! I only need to patch Windows once. Ctrl-Alt-Del -> Boot Debian CD.

Re:Linux needs more patching? Does it? (2, Insightful)

Baumi (148744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964782)

Not sure if it needs more patching, but at least OSS-pastches come out in a timely manner after the discovery, whereas MS patches sometimes take ages to materialize. Thus, more patches don't necessarily mean more security holes - just better housekeeping.

Baumi

The linked article is shit (1, Interesting)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964746)

Some comments on the linked article:

> it means you're all Linux users.
What is that - guilt by association?

>how do you implement security patches and operating-system upgrades (much more frequent in Linux than in proprietary systems from Microsoft or Sun) on thousands of servers without causing disruption to service?

You don't implement any security patches and upgrades because those systems are used only by Web servers; it's not like some Web client will hack into their servers... You boot thousands of servers from NFS or such; you upgrade system images once a quarter, together with Google's own software.

>yet achieves 100 per cent uptime.

Uptime of what? Of www.google.com, using round-robin load balancing to several geographically dispersed data centers. What's the big deal about that?
But I've seen 404 on www.google.com and the paid AdWords Admin Web is down quite often(anyone who ever used it knows what I'm talking about).

This is a repeat.. (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964758)

How the heck is this news? The article just summarised the Simson Garfinkel article for the business types. Slashdot already covered the calculations from Garfinkel, and therefore this is just a repeat! Booring.

IPO is Business (1)

Sumbody (686160) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964783)


Let's leave it to Google, facing an IPO, to play these numbers and the PR game how they feel will most benefit them and deter their competitors.

This post is brought to you by Microsoft [tm] Internet Explorer (r), the only browser for the Internet. Remember Mosaic and Splyglass? We don't.

Public paper on Google File System (4, Informative)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964784)

Here is a PDF file of the paper [rochester.edu] .


If that link gets slashdotted, here is another link of a PDF PowerPoint presenation [brandeis.edu] .


Good read! This paper (with the discusion of the goodness/fastness of file appends) made me more interested in Prevalence [advogato.org] - so much so that I am using it for my new project.

-Mark

No questions answered (1)

T.Hobbes (101603) | more than 10 years ago | (#8964785)

The meat of the article is just the observation that the numbers Google puts out (for # of servers, # of hits, etc) are inconsistant. The only conclusion it comes to is that google has more 'horsepower' than it's letting on.
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