Google search expands to 7 times more locations

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 28, 2013

google search

In the past one year, Google Search has dramatically increased the number of sites around the world. The search giant is reported to now serve users from six times as many locations than a year ago, says a new study conducted by the University Of Southern California (USG). The research done by a group of scientists, one from an Indian origin found that from October 2012 to the end of July 2013, Google increased the locations serving its search infrastructure from under 200 to more than 1400, and the number of ISPs grew from just over 100 to more than 850.

The search giant repurposed its existing content infrastructure into search infrastructure to expand its network. According to Matt Calder, lead author of the study, previously, if you submitted a search request to Google, your request would go directly to a Google data centre. Search requests now go to regional networks first, and from there to the Google data center. Therefore, even though an extra step is involved, this would speed up the searches, says Calder who worked with Ramesh Govindan and Ethan Katz-Bassett of USC Viterbi, as well as John Heidemann, Xun Fan, and Zi Hu of USG Vierbi’s Information Sciences Institute for the research.

The team developed a new method of tracking down and mapping servers, identifying both when they are in the same data center, estimating the data center location. They also identify the relationships between servers and clients.

The researchers estimated that data connections typically need to “warm up” to get to their top speed – the continuous connection between the client network and the Google data center eliminates some of that warming up lag time. Besides, content is split up into tiny packets to be sent over the Internet – and some of the delay is caused by the occasional loss of some of those packets. By designating the client network as a middleman, lost packets can be spotted and replaced much more quickly.

Google already used client networks, such as Time Warner Cable, to host some content such as videos on YouTube. Now it is using those same networks to relay and speed up search requests.

According to new media strategist Shaili Roy, the new strategy would mean that users get quick responses. This is becoming extremely important for companies as delayed web responses lead to decreased user engagement, fewer searches, and lost revenues. Besides, it would also help ISPs lower their operational costs by keeping the flow of traffic local.

The search giant’s ability to build, organize, and operate a huge network of servers and fiber-optic cables, and process massive amounts of data at warp speed is what keeps it going, say researchers. Google has about a dozen data centers around the world, making up a multibillion dollar infrastructure. It is also reportedly speculated to be building what appears to be an oversized ‘floating data center’ in San Francisco Bay’s Treasure Island, even though the company has not spoken about it until now.