Google announces Caffeine search index, promises '50 percent fresher results'

Google may have a lot of its plate these days, but you can rest assured it's not forgetting what got it where it is today in the first place -- it's just announced its new Caffeine search index, which is not only the largest index of web content Google has offered, but promises to be "50 percent fresher" as well. To do that, Google basically rebuilt its index from the ground up, switching from the old index with different layers that would refresh at different rates, to a crazy new index that analyzes the web in small portions on a continuous basis (as helpfully illustrated above) -- all of which should translate to you being able to find newer content, faster. Of course, this is Google, so they've also provided some analogies, noting that if Caffeine were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second, that it takes up 100 million gigabytes of storage and grows at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day, that you would need 625,000 of the largest iPods to store that much information, and that if those were stacked end-to-end they would stretch more than 40 miles. Now you know.