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InsideGoogle
Friday, September 03, 2004
 
Did Google Run Out Of Room?
Anthony Federico states over at w3reports.com that he thinks the lack of proper updates to the Google database may be because they ran out of room. The problem he describes is similar to the Y2K bug we all remember from four years ago. The basic idea is this: Google uses a 4-byte unsigned long integer in Linux to ID every single page in their index. This method tops out at 4,294,967,296 permutations, extroardinarily close to the 4,285,199,774 pages Google.com says to have indexed, a number that he says has not changed at all since 8/25/2003, over one year ago. He surmises that Google ran out of page ID numbers, and until it can fix the "ID2K" problem, it has to dump old, unpopular pages in favor of newer ones. If he's right, and only a quote from Google (which would never happen) would prove it, it means Google's search is missing a lot of the web, and unpopular pages might be impossible to find over time. Not good, definitely not good.
(via Search Engine Guide)

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