Sunday, 03 June 2007

Google holds it secrets close, as it should. One of its most valuable assets (probably its most valuable) is still its search engine, and because it's the end-all-be-all of Internet searching, how well it works is very important to the company. Add to that the relevance and accuracy of searching as it relates to Google advertising revenues, and the importance becomes quite huge.

The New York Times published a story this morning about the Google search inner sanctum, a bunch of people who tweak and adjust the search algorithms used to get people what they're looking for on the web. It's a good article and dives deep into the work the team does and how much more accurate search has become.

“Expectations are higher now,” said Udi Manber, who oversees Google’s entire search-quality group. “When search first started, if you searched for something and you found it, it was a miracle. Now, if you don’t get exactly what you want in the first three results, something is wrong.”

It's an interesting read, well worth the time. And think about how much storage is required for this:

And Google does more than simply build an outsized, digital table of contents for the Web. Instead, it actually makes a copy of the entire Internet — every word on every page — that it stores in each of its huge customized data centers so it can comb through the information faster. Google recently developed a new system that can hold far more data and search through it far faster than the company could before.

Find out more about Google's PageRank as well as a little of what they call "signals" - cues and other information the search engine algorithms generate and use to determine what you see when you search and why.

Article reference: Google Keeps Tweaking Its Search Engine (NY Times Online)

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