Big Daddy Knocks

By Ben Charny  |  Posted 2006-05-10 Print this article Print

That explains why sites disappear, for instance, a few days or weeks at a time. Its Big Daddy knocking, say several posters at this search industry forum (password and username are required).

Another theory about the disruptions is based on comments about a Google "server crisis" from Google CEO Eric Schmidt to the New York Times. From those words comes the idea Googles plumb out of data storage. That too explains the indexing issues.
Theres lots of speculation, and some quasi-confirmation from a prominent Google engineer, but Google didnt immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the topic.

Much of whats known about Big Daddy comes from Google engineer Matt Cutts, who occasionally writes about the topic on his blog. A Google spokeswoman referred a reporter to Cutts blog in response to an inquiry about the recent problems.

At the Cutts blog, theres an oft-cited March 27 Cutts-agram sent at the height of the initial wave of complaints. In it, Cutts claims Big Daddys been fully deployed and he mentions how it will "stabilize."

He also warns that sites finding themselves off Googles reservation can expect it to take just a few days to show up in the index again. Meanwhile, at Press Day, the worst-kept secret has been about the debut of Google Health, one of dozens of Google-operated search engines focused on narrower topics.

Read more here about other likely new Google search silos. A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company is testing the feature.

"We have been doing a variety of research in the health area, including how to improve the quality of health-related search results," the spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. "We have nothing new to announce at this time."

Theres also suspicion Google will unveil some more items from its partnership with computer manufacturer Dell Computers, based in Round Rock, Texas.

One dark horse rumor candidate is that Google will unveil a more sophisticated Internet phone service for its Google Talk instant message system. VOIP (voice over IP) is de rigueur for IM systems, yet Google Talk lags far behind competitors.

Microsofts MSN recently unveiled a new version with deeper phone capabilities, and Yahoo, of Sunnyvale, Calif., is also more and more phone-focused with each upgrade, so theres certainly competitive pressures to do so.

Editors Note: This story was updated to include information and comments from Google. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on enterprise search technology.


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