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Google Says It Now Counts 1 Trillion Web Pages

Google engineers say the company's computers hit a milestone: the counting of a trillion unique web pages.

say their company's computers

"We've known it for a long time: the web is big. The first Google index in 1998 already had 26 million pages, and by 2000 the Google index reached the one billion mark," wrote Jesse Alpert and Nissan Hajaj, software engineers for Google's Web Search Infrastructure Team.

"Over the last eight years, we've seen a lot of big numbers about how much content is really out there. Recently, even our search engineers stopped in awe about just how big the web is these days - - when our systems that process links on the web to find new content hit a milestone: 1 trillion (as in 1,000,000,000,000) unique URLs on the web at once!," they wrote.

Google doesn't index every page, the duo write, because some URLs are redundant or are developed by auto-generated content. The company's goal, they said, remains to "index all of the world's data." The process of counting web pages includes, essentially, starting with established, trusted sites and following the URLs that are linked out from those pages.

In addition, Google continues to spend to keep its own infrastructure strong enough to contend with that growth. During a conference call with financial analysts earlier this quarter, Google CFO George Reyes said the company's capital expenditures for the most recent quarter hit almost $700 million - - most of that for IT infrastructure.

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