Google Adds 1 Billion Pages to Stay Ahead

Google, the popular internet search engine, has added a billion pages to remain competitive. It currently hosts 35% of all internet searches. But Yahoo and MSN are clipping at Google's heels and hope to overtake it as the leading search engine. Part of Google's success lies in its proprietary algorithm that aids and ranks search requests. In a race for superiority, both Yahoo and Microsoft have invested large sums in developing and acquiring search engine technology. Google's ramp up in pages may be a lead in to its frequently discussed public offering. – YaleGlobal

Google Adds 1 Billion Pages to Stay Ahead

Thursday, February 19, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - Online search engine leader Google added an additional 1 billion pages to its Web index, increasing its breadth by about one-third as it girds for tougher competition from Yahoo! and Microsoft.

In its latest makeover, Google also tweaked the closely guarded formula that determines which websites are most relevant to a search request. Five significant changes have been made to the algorithmic formulas in the last two weeks.

Google's search engine now spans 4.28 billion web pages, up from 3.3 billion pages earlier this week. The Mountain View, California-based company also said on Tuesday that it has enlarged its index of Web images to 880 million, up from slightly more than 400 million.

The move underscores Google's determination to remain the Internet's most popular search engine -- a prized position that formidable rivals like Yahoo and Microsoft hope to capture.

Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo has been drawing upon Google's index for the search results on its website since June 2000, but plans to end the partnership before April. Yahoo intends to rely exclusively on search technology it picked up last year after spending more than $2 billion to buy Inktomi and Overture Services.

Meanwhile, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is spending millions to develop a sophisticated search engine to use on MSN.com in hopes of toppling Google as the king of search.

Google has been regularly upgrading its search engine since its late 1998 debut with a Web index of 25 million pages, but the potential threats from Yahoo and Microsoft have added more urgency, said co-founder Sergey Brin, the company's president of technology.

The upgrades are being made as Google mulls a widely anticipated initial public offering of its stock later this year.

If it occurs, the IPO could build a bigger war chest for Google's looming showdown with Yahoo and Microsoft. Google's websites handled 35 per cent of all Web searches in December, compared with 27 per cent at Yahoo sites and 15 per cent for Microsoft sites, according to the latest data compiled by comScore Media Metrix, a research firm.

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings.

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