Behind The Scenes Of Google’s Tech

The magic that makes Google tick from ZDNet has a look at technical details
behind delivering Google searches. But, I’ve got a few quibbles:

  • It’s 8 billion pages that Google now claims to index, of course!
  • "You may think we don’t need to know about those but that’s not true," said Google engineering VP Urz Hölzle.

    Yes, leveraging links can help with finding those company home pages that fail to use text. But it can also lead to strange things, such as
    link bombs as with the
    miserable failure
    search, also.

  • The PageRank algorithm is said to be "relatively" spam resistant. Hmm. Wander over to Google, do a search for viagra,
    and you’ll see a site about "generic viagra online" at the bottom. Yep, it does lead you to a place that apparently sells Viagra. But this is almost certainly not the
    best of all the sites you could reach for this query.

    More important, you only reach this site after a fast redirect. Why? Because a low-quality doorway page is being used to help get a good ranking on Google.

    Here you go — check out the cached copy yourself. Perhaps it’s
    not spam, but it’s hardly high-quality material. Ironically, it’s probably link analysis that’s also helping this page get there.

OK, enough with the quibbles, and which in fairness I could do with Google competitors, as well. See the rest of the article for some technical details on Google data
centers, the fact there’s not been a complete system failure since February 2000 and more.

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