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Sydney Morning Herald: Google seeks and finds fast; a big Linux win, but browser add-on is Win-only

Jan 08, 2001, 23:56 (21 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Timothy C Barmann)

"I've been so impressed with Google's usefulness over the past couple of months that I've practically abandoned my long-time favourite search site, AltaVista. Google is faster, and offers cool features that make finding things much easier. Most importantly, it consistently returns results related to what I was looking for."

"The secret behind its success is the smart way Google presents results of a search. It puts hits most likely to be relevant at the top. How does it figure that out? "It is a little like a popularity contest," said Jim Reese, Google's chief operations engineer, who talked about the company at a computer conference in Atlanta in October. Google has developed a page-ranking technology that is based on how many other Web pages have linked to a particular page. "Each link is like a vote for that Web page," Reese explained."

"Google runs on more than 6,000 computers, according to Reese. Remarkably, these are regular, off-the-shelf machines, all running the Linux operating system."

"Google hasn't publicised this yet, but it has released a test version of a free computer program that incorporates a small search window in your Web browser. It lets you use the service from your browser, without having to visit Google first. ... The bad news is it only works with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, version 5.0 and higher."

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