Maybe I'm too easily impressed or too easily boggled by techspeak, but this Times article on how Google manages its search algorithms blew me away, especially the part about how the company goes about
maintaining a giant index of all the world’s Web pages. Google has hundreds of thousands of customized computers scouring the Web to serve that purpose. In its early years, Google built a new index every six to eight weeks. Now it rechecks many pages every few days.The entire internet! I guess I can stop making those printouts now.
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.