It’s Google’s Party, It Can Index if it Wants to

Google celebrated its birthday this week with a
youthful boast appropriate for a seventh birthday party: We’re better
than you!

As the search giant welcomed lucky No. 7, it took the opportunity
to announce it had expanded its index of Web pages to become three times
larger than any other search engine.

That means you, Yahoo .

Although the actual number of pages indexed is unclear — it was previously
listed on its site as approximately 8 billion, but the number has been
removed — a posting on the Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s blog late
Monday night announced it had tripled over the past four weeks, making it
1,000 times larger than its original index in 1998.

“Search remains our heart and soul, so I’m especially pleased by this latest
expansion of our index, which makes Google more than three times larger than
any other search engine,” said the note posted by Google software engineer
Anna Patterson.

CEO Eric Schmidt explained that “people do not necessarily agree
on how to measure it.”

Many search experts say the size of the index is irrelevant for most users, but rather the relevance of the search
that matters.

In response to Google dropping the number of indexed pages from its site,
Yahoo issued a statement saying: “We congratulate Google on removing the
index size number from its home page and recognizing that it is a
meaningless number. As we’ve said in the past, what matters is that
consumers find what they are looking for, and we invite Google users to
compare their results to Yahoo Search.”

Last month, Yahoo said it believed that it had the largest index, with 19.2
billion documents. Google claimed the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company was overestimating its index by counting duplicate information.

Google has also invited users to compare its search results to its
competitor and post the results on its blog.

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