Google Search Index Booms to 8 Billion
Google had something up their sleeve. It seems that whenever a competitor does something big, such as MSN announcing the beta launch of their new search engine, Google has to “one up” them somehow. Just as the news wires started flaming with MSN Beta search news and its 5 billion indexed web pages, Google posts this simple sentence on its web site “Searching 8,058,044,651 web pages.”
What’s the meaning? Why this timing? Well the folks at Google seem to know that journalists and bloggers are going to jump all over the MSN Search story with their “MSN Challenges Google” and “MSN Search Takes on Google” headlines. And what’s the most effective thing the incumbent most powerful search engine can do? Simply respond without responding. Google’s statement about its pages indexed can be easily translated into “Oh, MSN has 5 billion pages, that’s nice… Google has over 8 billion indexed, try and top us Bill!”
Googlebot has been going crazy lately, hitting sites left and right with different IP addresses which have led many in the industry to believe that there are two or more Google bots sucking up every last sentence on every web site they can fine in the visible web. On the Google Blog today, Bill Coughran, VP of Engineering commented on the new Google index:
You probably never notice the large number that appears in tiny type at the bottom of the Google home page, but I do. It’s a measure of how many pages we have in our index and gives an indication of how broadly we search to find the information you’re looking for. Today that number nearly doubled to more than 8 billion pages.
Comprehensiveness is not the only important factor in evaluating a search engine, but it’s invaluable for queries that only return a few results. For example, now when I search for friends who previously generated only a handful of results, I see double that number. These are not just copies of the same pages, but truly diverse results that give more information.