Google's search infrastructure has grown greatly in the last year
A recent study by the University of Southern California has discovered that the number of search locations and internet service providers used by Google have dramatically risen since October 2012.
Google now use 1400 search locations to process search queries, which is an increase of over 1200 since last October. The number of ISPs they exercise has also multiplied considerably in the last 12 months, from around 100 to just over 850.
According to the USC study, a Google search would formerly go directly to Google's data centre. Now, however, a search's first stop is the regional network, and then it is passed on to the Google data centre. More traffic being kept local will also mean lower operational costs for the internet service providers.
A press release by the USC insists that this does not complicate and slow down the search process, but in fact speeds it up: "Data connections typically need to "warm up" to get to their top speed - the continuous connection between the client network and the Google data center eliminates some of that warming up lag time."
Google start to use content-hosting networks for search
In addition to relying on their client networks for content-hosting, Google now also use them to relay user requests and speed up searches. An example network would be Time Warner Cable. Matt Calder, the PhD student who led the USC study, states: "[Google have] abruptly expanded the way they use the networks, turning their content-hosting infrastructure into a search infrastructure as well."
Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, says: "These developments will greatly benefit both Google and its users. Increased searching speed will further cement their position as a leading and reliable search engine, and a faster web browsing experience will, of course, please Google users."