Google Instant Power

I bet Google Instant causes a significant increase of energy consumption in the whole world. Imagine how each key press in the google search bar determines power drain in the network equipments.

There are 91 million searches per day (according to this). Just multiply by the average length of a search query, let’s say 10 characters. There you have it. 10 times more effort for the planet so that you can see the results without clicking or tapping Search.

Just sayin..


  • http://lucian.mogosanu.ro spyked

    I’m inclining to think the most relevant searches (and there must be a top of 100 most searched items, 1000 most searched items and so on) are cached by the search engine. If i type “why d” in the search box, google will automatically search for the most “relevant” (according to its own standards) result (right now it’s “why did i get married”), and that’s probably somehow cached for both bandwidth and computational efficiency.

    Also, google probably (rightly or wrongly) assumes that you would have searched for that anyway, so there isn’t much overhead in the data transmission. And it might be true in most cases, who knows. I’m still trying to understand how it manages to be so goddamn fast. And if it’s fast, then it’s efficient. If it’s efficient, then maybe it doesn’t consume as much as we’d think. 🙂

  • mihneasim

    I agree they must have some very hi-tech caching systems for such incredible speed and scalability. Good point there. On the other hand, I was also thinking about the overall effort, outside their mainframes.

    “google probably (rightly or wrongly) assumes that you would have searched for that anyway”

    I’ll take an example to make myself more clear. I want to search “Labrador”. If I am an average speed typer, google will have enough time to retrieve results for:
    – Lowe’s
    – Lady Gaga
    – Labour Day
    – LABR
    – Labradoodle (?? :)) )

    That’s about the overhead I was talking about. It’s like making 8 searches, not 1 (one!) single search for a website about Labradors. 8 times more power for the network chip, for the network plug / antenna, for the routers and the list can go on.