Tech Jungle

How Google Works
October 21, 2006, 8:53 am
Filed under: Google, News

Google searches harness one of the most powerful supercomputers. A search, which typically takes less than a second, is the result of a complex journey that typically makes at least two stops, often thousands of miles apart.

1 Google creates its own version of the Internet, using automated programmers called Google bots, which crawl the web in search of new information. Web sites known to be important and frequently modified are scanned every few weeks.

2 Google bots feed key information from a Web page to Google’s central network: url, full text of the page, references to images and the other embedded files specific information the site owner creates about the page, called metadata.

3 At the central network, the information is indexed; every word that could be used in a search query is listed along with information referencing web sites where the word can be found.

4 The index is broken into “shards” and sent to data centers facilities made up of thousands of servers wired together around the world; because centers may have slightly different versions of the index, depending on when they received the last update, users in different places may get slightly different results for the same search.


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