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Google's Instant Search: Does The Big G Sip More Energy Than Before?


I’m so into that new Google Instant search thing… All I wonder is, if they had problems with the media and their green image in the past because some people said their datacenters were not as green as they stated, how about now, that for every letter and word you type, the search engine generates a different search?

The idea in itself is wonderful, and by now the service works flawlessly, but Google hasn’t explained much about the technology involved. For example, we know from one of their early 2009 blog posts that one search accounts for 0.2 grams of CO2.

Unless their search algorithm has dramatically changed since instant search kicked in, at a first glance Google’s engine should be at least 2 or 3 times dirtier. Now we should also consider the fact that the service will shorten the act of searching.

This should take the power saving to the user’s side, who spends less time on average doing the typing and more time doing his job: “By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.

Also, Google said that their instant search only communicates with the servers data that has changed following the user’s typed words, and doesn’t use new search cycles for newly typed letters. I assume most of their searches are already cached to some extent, thus saving a lot of energy.

Moreover, I don’t think Google would do changes that overload their huge datacenters because energy costs money, and if such a feature has been approved and launched, it has to have some energy-saving background.

Still, these are only presumptions. If you happen to know more, or if you work at Google and are entitled to tell us more, please do so in the comments form below.

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