Google's "Caffeine" system gives a pick-me-up to search

Posted by Mike Luttrell

When you run a search on Google, your results are going to be just a little more up-to-date, thanks to a new search infrastructure that was just announced.

Instead of updating its search database every night and making the new results available the next day, which is what it does now, new search indexes will go live to real-time search results within seconds. In a post on the official Google blog, software engineer Carrie Grimes wrote, "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. Whether it's a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before."

It is a revolutionary new way to update Google's search index. Instead of having a handful of "layers" that were updated on a static basis, the results are updated dynamically on a continuous basis 24/7.

Why didn't Google have something like this set up in the first place? Well, it takes up 100 petabytes of space - that's 100 million gigabytes. Caffeine literally processes hundreds of thousands of pages every second.

"We've built Caffeine with the future in mind. Not only is it fresher, it's a robust foundation that makes it possible for us to build an even faster and comprehensive search engine that scales with the growth of information online, and delivers even more relevant search results to you," said Grimes.