Google searches billions for business

Google logo

Google is helping businesses search through billions of documents faster with its new Google Search Appliance 6.0 (GSA).

The technology can search across several appliances in various locations, like its previous GSA technology, but instead of millions of documents this solution is able to go through billions.

On the official Google blog the bold claim is made that GSA makes searching for business documents as easy as searching on

Cyrus Mistry, a Google product manager, said: "If you had to find a single piece of information by sorting through a billion documents it would take you, on average, about 2000 years. Businesses and large organisations have tons of documents and other types of data some even have a billion documents that need searching, and it's unlikely that employees have 2000 years to dedicate to the hunt."

He added: "We believe that setting your enterprise up with the GSA can save you tons of employee hours spent looking for data letting you focus on the actual work to be done."

The move comes as Google's growth slows from its previous double-digit percentage levels, amid a challenging economic environment and a sharp industry-wide slowdown in the advertising spending that it depends on.

Google's latest version of its Search Appliance, first introduced in 2001, takes aim at the high-end of the market.

The sleek yellow boxes, based on hardware from Dell and Intel, come loaded with Google software and allow companies to harness Google's search capabilities to cull through their own internal documents.

Instead of the three separate models of the appliance it previously offered, Google will now sell two boxes: the GB 7007, which can index between 500,000 and 10 million documents, and the GB 9009, which can index 30 million documents.

New security and customisation features mean that different departments within a company can link their appliances, giving certain users - say those with a higher security clearance at a federal agency - access to a broader set of search results than would have been presented to others.

The goal is to make search the "unifying glue" across an organization's various departments, said Nitin Mangtani, Google's senior product manager for enterprise search.

Mangtani said the entry-level 7007 model costs $30,000 (18,100), including two years of support. Google does not disclose pricing on the 9009 model but notes that the price is less than the 7007 on a price-per-document basis.

Mistry added: "Whether you own a small business with a few thousand docs or belong to a huge organisation with a billion, the GSA can search them all."

In a separate product launch on Tuesday, Google introduced a new "dashboard" for its core search site that provides local businesses with information about web searches relating to their companies.

Based on Google's analysis of the data it collects across its network of online services, including Google Search and Google Maps, a pizzeria for instance could find out how many people are clicking on its store hours, or which postcode is the most common among diners seeking driving directions.

The product is free, and is intended to showcase the usefulness of online data analysis to local businesses, many of whom may not even have their own website, said Carter Maslan, director of product management for local search.

IT PRO recently reported on how Google pushed the benefits of businesses using consumer tools.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.