Dubbed Caffeine, Google's Carrie Grimes unveiled the improved search index yesterday evening. "Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it's the largest collection of web content we've offered," she said.
Grimes explained that with the old index, some layers were refreshed faster than others. This meant that there was quite a substantial delay from when Google found to when we could see it in search results. With Caffeine, Google is constantly examining and updating small sections of the search index. As the company finds new pages or new information on old pages, it adds them straight to the index, meaning fresher search results.
"Caffeine lets us index web pages on an enormous scale. In fact, every second Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel. If this were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second," Carrie writes.
"Caffeine takes up nearly 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database and adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day. You would need 625,000 of the largest iPods to store that much information; if these were stacked end-to-end they would go for more than 40 miles."
Grimes failed to mention whether the transition to Caffeine will be a slow roll-out, similar to other products launched by Google, or if we'll all start seeing fresher search results from today onwards.