Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Google's secret project

SAN FRANCISCO - GOOGLE has rolled back the curtain on a secret project codenamed 'Caffeine' focused on building a new iteration of its winning Internet search engine.

'For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google's Web search,' Google engineers Sitaram Iyer and Matt Cutts said in an official blog post.

'It's the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.' People on Tuesday could use the new technology online at

The search page looks identical to the classic, clean Google Web page long associated with the Internet titan.

'The new infrastructure sits 'under the hood' of Google's search engine, which means that most users won't notice a difference in search results,' the engineers wrote. 'But, Web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we're opening up a Web developer preview to collect feedback.'

Google stressed that, for now, it is only seeking feedback regarding how Caffeine performs compared to its current search engine and is not fishing for comparisons to offerings from rival Internet firms.

Technology colossus Microsoft has been praising the momentum of its recently-launched Bing search engine and said it is taking a long-term approach in its quest to close the gap with market-leading Google.

Microsoft last month announced a tie-up with Yahoo! for a larger share of the online search market. Yahoo! and Microsoft are distant second and third in a search engine market where Google commands about two-thirds of the traffic.

Under the terms of the deal, Yahoo! will use Microsoft's new Bing search engine and handle Web ad sales.

Forrester estimates the search and advertising market will grow by 15 per cent a year to more than US$30 billion (S$43.4 billion) in 2014 in the United States alone. -- AFP

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