February 8, 2005 8:06 AM PST

Google image index hits 1 billion mark

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Google said Tuesday that following a recent expansion, its image index now contains more than 1 billion pictures.

Google has been the most popular search engine on the Internet for some time, but because of increasing competition from Yahoo, Microsoft and a large number of smaller, localized search engines, the company has had to continue expanding its reach by indexing previously unavailable Web content.

A Google representative also told ZDNet Australia that the company recently passed the 8-billion-page mark with its Web page index, as well as increasing its image index.

"A billion images is a milestone for us," the representative said. "We now have nearly 1.2 billion images in our image index...We have found a whole load of new images on the Web and expanded our comprehensiveness on that front."

In the past, Google has made it a practice to not only expand its content indexes but also to publish material that was not previously available on the Web.

Google's TV search

In January, the company launched a prototype of Google Video, which is an engine that lets people search the text of TV shows. To start with, the service is scouring programming from PBS, Fox News, C-SPAN, ABC and the NBA, among others, making broadcast transcripts searchable the same day they aired.

Craig Silverstein, director of technology at Google and its first official employee, explained that the company's long-term policy is to index content that is already published but also to make previously unsearchable content--such as hard-copy catalogs--available online.

"We took a bunch of mail order catalogs, many of which are not online because they are very small. We converted them to text and made them searchable," he said, referring to a feature the search giant started testing in 2001. "This information wasn't even available electronically, but now you can search it, and we are hoping to get more of that type of information available."

Also Tuesday, Google quietly launched a beta site for a new map service. The offering features a few tweaks to standard mapping services--it lets people click and drag maps, for example, instead of having to click and reload, and offers magnified views of specific spots that pop up in bubbles.

Munir Kotadia of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

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Thats not all they need to update
Googles reputation may be overblown.
A case in point: a blog was created on Blogger specifically because it is owned/affiliated with Google. the poster WANTED Google to index the page without advertizing the desire. this was made mid september 2004. it comtained two phrases that were key. "between Athens and Cairo" which was the most likely way its audience would search for it, and "More Pictures to See" which which would draw attention in a list of responses.(explain later)

the only thing, over amonth later the site still didn't show in Google searches while it was needed by Nov 22. Yet, at least two other engines did list the site. This was a problem because the site was the answer to an online giveaway by Sharp.

Do you remember Sharp's ad campaign last year that has a car drive into a pool? The last shot was a black screen with white letters reading "www.MoreToSee.com" The site, still up, shows all three comercials and had a link to register for a drawing. those who registered could also enter an answer to win the grand prize, a very expensive entertainment center by Sharp. clues were scattered throughout the site and eight other owned sites with the final answer available at the blogger blog. first to enter answer in online form won the Grand Prize(congrats to Ken Floss)
it was mid december before a Google search turned up the answer site but they had links to the NBC created "news sites" at least a month before and they were very likely created well after the answer site.

So if I want a list of commercial sites I'll still use my Google toolbar but if my life depends on the answer.. I'll try one of the sites that showed a better track record
Posted by qazwiz (208 comments )
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