Google Index Swells, Yahoo Switch Imminent

Google put out a press release today noting that its index has swelled to 4.28 billion images, and combined with images and usenet, total pages indexed now reaches past 6 billion. Full text of release is in the extended entry below. Gary's Resourceshelf has commentary here. My question: why now?…

google.gifGoogle put out a press release today noting that its index has swelled to 4.28 billion images, and combined with images and usenet, total pages indexed now reaches past 6 billion. Full text of release is in the extended entry below. Gary’s Resourceshelf has commentary here.

My question: why now? It’s generally considered true that Google can raise its index number pretty much when it feels like it (this isn’t some technical breakthrough or new achievement, a lot of folks claim Google has been underreporting its number to date), so what provoked this timing? Could be the pressure to keep appearance of innovation up, and/or the pressure of new competitors, recently feted in various articles, who promise larger indexes, such as Dipsie, or a response to Yahoo’s new search solution, which is rolling out…well now it seems… as Andy Beal sends word that Yahoo’s switching over to its own technology, even though the announcement has not been made. Here’s Yahoo’s Search page – go check it out. Andy also points to a survey on Yahoo that Webmasterworld folks found about the search experience.

UPDATE: As to the company’s timing, Google PRmeister Nate Tyler says: “We hit the milestone and thought it might be nice to let our users know.” In other words, this is not a reaction to anything…

As for the Yahoo news, I spoke again with Jeff Weiner today, and he is really on fire. He acknowledged that the new Yahoo crawler, Slurp, is out and about, and that changes are afoot….more when I can tell you more…

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Google Connects Searchers to World’s Most Comprehensive Index; Increases Web
Page and Image Collections

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Feb. 17, 2004 – Google Inc. today announced it
expanded the breadth of its web index to more than 6 billion items. This
innovation represents a milestone for Internet users, enabling quick and
easy access to the world’s largest collection of online information.

“People worldwide can find more information with Google than with any other
search engine,” said Larry Page, Google co-founder and president of

Google’s collection of 6 billion items comprises 4.28 billion web pages, 880
million images, 845 million Usenet messages, and a growing collection of
book-related information pages. Web surfers worldwide can now search across
Google’s collection of items using the following services:

– Google Web Search: The company’s flagship search service now offers 4.28
billion web pages. Google’s powerful and scalable technology searches this
information and delivers a list of relevant results in an instant. Google
Web Search also enables users to search for numerous non-HTML files,
including PDF, Microsoft Office, and Corel documents.

– Google Image Search: Comprising more than 880 million images, Google Image
Search enables users to find electronic images relevant to a wide variety of
Advanced features include search by image size, format (JPEG and/or GIF),
coloration, and the ability to restrict searches to specific sites or

– Google Groups: This 20-year archive of Usenet conversations is the largest
of its kind and serves as a powerful reference tool, while offering insight
into the history and culture of the Internet. Google Groups offers more than
845 million postings in more than 35,000 topical categories.

– Google Print: A test service that enables Google users to immediately
access a range of book related information, such as first chapters, reviews,
and bibliographic information. These pages also offer users links to
directly purchase titles.

“Google Image Search has been significantly updated,” said Sergey Brin,
Google co-founder and president of Technology. “We’ve doubled the index to
more than 880 million images, enhanced search quality, and improved the user

Today’s news follows the announcement last week that Google received eight
awards in the 4th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards, which recognize
outstanding achievements in web searching. Google was recognized as the
“Outstanding Search Service,” for helping internet users locate information
from across the Web. Google has received this distinction every year since
the awards were initiated in 2000. Google AdWords was also given top honors
for value, targeting, tools and overall advertiser satisfaction.

About Google Inc.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around
the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D.
students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in
all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program, which is
the largest and fastest growing in the industry, provides businesses of all
sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience
for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout
North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit

One thought on “Google Index Swells, Yahoo Switch Imminent”

  1. There’s more to it than just “who’s bigger.” This release probably means there’s no Google IPO in the offing – at least for now. I’m not sure that they can put out such a metrics-driven release during the typical SEC-imposed quiet period that precedes an S1…so maybe that means there is none right now.

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