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Google Under Stress

     

Brett_Tabke

9:09 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google Groans Under Data Strain
[byteandswitch.com...]

During his keynote at the Interop show here this week, Girouard explained that the firm blows through "an incredible amount" of computing power, disk space, and bandwidth. The exec noted that the firm has “concerns about the future in all these respects.”

“If you look at what we’re doing with Google Earth,” he explained, “it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to say that there’s a tremendous amount of processing power, bandwidth, and storage going on at Google in everything that we do.” Google Earth, part Web-based geography app, part 3D-rendering machine, whirls users around the globe with frightening speed and clarity.

tedster

9:39 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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People often equate Google's rise with the breakthrough success of Page Rank algorithm, but an equal factor was always their savvy and innovation around hardware and all things related to networking. The stunning speed with which Google can return search results has always been astounding -- and that takes more than a good algorithm.

I can barely imagine what they see as approaching challenges in this area -- but I'm pretty sure they'll find answers and continue to innovate.

theBear

9:48 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The number of edges now in their database coupled with the need to process a massive history set for each page isn't a trivial task.

JeremyL

9:49 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Their conversion of Urchin to a free service goes to show that they definitally do not have unlimited resources to go around.

Jakpot

10:12 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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One of the reasons for the huge Supplemental index

musicales

10:18 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This is interesting, particular in areas where there is no clear monetization plan- eg google earth. Perhaps we really are in a bubble period where google still feels rich enough to experiment with stuff like this, the amount of computing power going into Google Earth really does feel quite staggering to me and I wouldn't be at all surprised (though very saddened) if they had to withdraw it/make it paid only at some point in the future.

BillyS

10:29 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I agree - what's the plan behind Urchin, Picasa and Google Earth (just to name a few)?

I could speculate:

Urchin - a step toward getting into the hosting business (a source of revenue)

Picasa - maybe Google wants to get into the print business (competing with Kodak...)

Google Earth - real estate and travel?!?

Certainly these are a move away from its core business and all involve considerable risk. If there is a big plan, I'm just not seeing it yet. The coming year might help us put some of these puzzle pieces together.

asp4bunnies

10:32 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google Earth enhances their local Search. Urchin enhances webmasters ability to sell items, and therefore increases their ad budget.

Google profits from advertising in both ways.

No clue about Picasa, unless it's just about making it easier for people to add more data to the internet.

natural number

10:54 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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There are no free lunches, or unlimited resources. Even the internet and google are subject to scarcity on this side of the garden of Eden.

Lord Majestic

10:56 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The stunning speed with which Google can return search results has always been astounding -- and that takes more than a good algorithm.

A few good algorithms are ALL it takes - the results are so fast not because Google has got lots of servers (that too of course), but because algorithms are so good :)

asomervell

10:59 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You cant see the value in Google Earth and making Urchin stats free?

Google Earth - Billions of dollars are spent globally - particularly by transport companies - on mapping and finding direct routes to locations. I often find a company by searching the White Pages (phone directory) for the company name then go to Wises (mapping) and type the address in.

Its not apparent yet because you cant get the info when you need it, when you're lost, frustrated and only 2 blocks from where you should be you cant just whip out your desktop... but soon you'll be able to get it on your handheld/cellphone.

A microsoft video I saw recently introducing XAML and Longhorn showed the use of soap by connecting search results with mapping technology.

Urchin - Easy, more clarity on your successful keywords through goal setting makes Adwords not only more valuable but more efficient, I've just put adsense in rotation on my site after years of not bothering, the ads still arent that relevant and that stems from the advertisers choosing blanket keywords instead of phrases.

The kicker is that when Google does things we just expect them to be massive, remember that an idea still has to grow and critical mass reached before you can monetise it.

Google could easily build reliance on Google Earth or Urchin then wall off useful features and charge for them.

netcommr

11:23 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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quote from www.google.com/analytics/urchin_software.html
Urchin 6 software will not be free when it is released in 2006.

NoLimits

12:04 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just maybe.... perhaps - they should re-think their current spending plan. Billion dollar boat anchors don't do anything for the network reliability.

Neo541

12:41 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Urchin 6 software will not be free when it is released in 2006.

That's only the software, not the service that is presently free...

walkman

12:47 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)



it's amazing how Google has never crashed--at least not that we found out. eBay did...several times.

Powdork

1:49 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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search for "google is down".

The evolution of the mission statement
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
-->>
Google's mission is to monetise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
-->>
Google's mission is to monopolize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

If you are in travel or real estate. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

AhmedF

4:13 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Urchin?

Simple ... analyze user behaviour - both browsing and click behaviour. Better learn user patterns to deliver better ads.

We have our own stat service, and track roughly 400,000 unique visitors per day (with a lot of meta-data added) - marketing firms are coming left and right to get at the data. Now I can imagine Google's Urchin is easily doing 100x that.

Its all about information :)

markus007

5:53 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I do 10 million pageviews a day through google analyitics, and on top of that i run a lot of regular expressions, no easy task.

texasville

6:08 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Algorythms are just formulas implemented by processors. Processing speed is what it is all about. And Google has been diverting nearly all their processing power since ..what was supposed to be..jagger3...and is about to do something big...or..collapse. One of the two.

HughMungus

6:56 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone posted that recent story yet about Google lamenting something about processor power going up but the energy cost/processor power ratio not decreasing enough such that one of Google's main concerns now is not having enough processor power but the cost of powering all those processors going up too fast (?)

Power could cost more than servers, Google warns

[news.com.com...]

anax

7:52 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Power could cost more than servers, Google warns

Very interesting story.

Look for Google to invest bigtime in photovoltaics. I hear it's sunny in California.

ByronM

4:14 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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People often equate Google's rise with the breakthrough success of Page Rank algorithm, but an equal factor was always their savvy and innovation around hardware and all things related to networking. The stunning speed with which Google can return search results has always been astounding -- and that takes more than a good algorithm.

I wouldn't give them that much credit.

1. They only show the first ~1k results. So even if they have 8 billion pages consumed in there database the indexes aren't nearly representative of that size.

2. Cheap hardware & fast networks have been a commodity for a while. It isn't hard to do what google does technically, just economically.

Google is an adveritising company. More of the revenue they get is put back into advertising technologies and learning what you and i do every day vs creating a fair and balanced index or trying to innovate search.

Google is just a marketing company using services to sell there ads.

LifeinAsia

4:30 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



If that's "all" they do, why aren't there a lot more sites/companies just as successful doing the same thing Google does?

technoatheist

4:43 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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There are. In fact, there are new search engines coming on line every day. The problem is that people are religious about Google and immediately dismiss anything that they see as not being Google.

AhmedF

5:13 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



This board has become a sounding board for people hating hating google just because it doesn't like their site.

There is a touch of detachment from reality that a lot of people seem to posess.

Namaste

6:10 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have huge respect for G's technology. Whatever I have seen of their implementation it is flawless. I too use Yahoo sponsored search, mail, etc and it is not in the same technical league.

Being the CEO of technology company myself, I know how hard it is to achieve the kind of technical excellence that G has achieved.

Where G lacks is in the man machine interface; Adobe, Apple, Sony, Samsung, Mercedes Benz are the poster boys there.

tomld2

8:20 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



For those of you who don't see money in Google Earth, you are sadly mistaken. Google Earth will be a an extremely profitable service when it comes to local search. Before you know it, versions of Google Earth will reach far beyond our home PC's and into our vehicles. Can you say the next-gen in car navigation system? Complete with local ads? Imagine next time you are out of town on a business trip and you ask your rental car nav system (running google earth) for some chinese food. Not only will the software show you the closest chinese restaurants, but there will be paid placements. In car search advertising. Mark my words, it'll be huge. Google Earth is just the beginning.

Powdork

8:54 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



In car search advertising. Mark my words, it'll be huge. Google Earth is just the beginning.
Take a real estate tour of any town, without ever seeing an agent.
Google could post current lodging vacancies on their website so you could pick and choose at the last minute as you drive through town.
Find McDonalds (and order your food?). I wonder how that transaction would occur? Wallet comes to mind.

Elixir

11:47 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"Urchin 6 software will not be free when it is released in 2006".

It is not free now. We paid $5k for it a year ago and we still have not had it delivered. The irony of it is that the Urchin on Demand they gave us in the itermin completely crashed when they introduced Google analytics and we were without anything. I am not very happy with Google Analytics right now.

BillyS

12:28 am on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I think it is foolish to feel that you can give something away, have people grow to depend on it and think you can charge for the service in the future. I used a service to deliver groceries to my home. We used that service for months. It was free and the service was great. One day, they decided to start charging for the service - they are now out of business.

Google decided to invest millions in Broadband over Powerline - in a company called Current Technologies. They have a pilot with Cinergy and they were supposed to have 50,000 customers at this point. They have a fraction of that number. Last time I looked at this the company couldn't deliver the service in an underground system (think Cincinnati).

Google appears to be casting a wide net in an attempt to capture another winner. Then again organizing the world’s information is a pretty big task. That net might catch some winners, but they are going to catch some losers too.

I actually like Google, there is no reason for me to dislike the company. But that doesn’t mean I have to like everything they do. Adwords is a great system – their bidding / ranking logic is something that Overture should follow.

Perhaps I am too stupid to understand the path they are taking. For me, Microsoft has a very clear strategy and it’s something I think they will pull off because everything they do seems to support that strategy. I don’t see that YET with Google.

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