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

“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

“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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