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Google search - a dizzying spin in cyberspace
Just try this! Type the word 'google' in Google search's rectangular box and click. In a jiffy you will get the search results. As it appears in all search results, on the top it will show that it had got for you 11480000000 (i.e. 1148 followed by 7 zeroes) search results, in just 0.82 seconds.

Almost at the speed of lightening! I tried to fathom its complexities. This led me to Google's own site, where it gives one the mind boggling dimensions of this apparently simple operation. 1st step: Its search engine is connected to 130 trillion web pages from all over the globe.

2nd step: Then it 'crawls' these 130 trillion pages and then it indexes each one of them for the likely search words that page may contain. In the third step, through complex algorithms (logical mathematical formulas and computational procedures), if correctly applied ensure the solution of a problem).

This way it gets for you in a jiffy, millions of search results. Then depending on your location (courtesy GPS) and your past preferences, it prioritizes those millions of results, it has located for you. Chances are that you are likely to find what you are looking for, on the first page of the results itself! This way the more frequently you search on Google, the more fine tuned the results are customized for you. On the way, it also filters out likely spams.

Millions of people round the world search for something or the other. We think all this is free. Well eventually, there is nothing like a free lunch. Once Google knows your location, your reading preferences, movie preference or buying preferences on Amazon.com etc. - on the side, the ads Google places are tailor made for your attention. Maybe, a friend who searches for the word in Gurugram may be targeted with different sets of ads! So that is one of the revenue models of Google Search.

How much energy does a single search entail? By Google's own admission, a single search uses electricity equal to a 60 watt bulb being switched on for 17 seconds. And the daily energy required by all the searches, can meet the daily energy requirements of 200,000 homes (260 milion watts!). Imagine our contribution to global warming, just through the cat of 'searching'!

Google being very much aware of the implications is switching over to solar energy wherever possible. And Google is not the only company doing search business. Microsoft's Bing and others are also there. The immense dimensions of Google can be also judged by the fact that it has over 900,000 servers, spread all over the world. In all Google's various cyber activity involves power requirement of 220 mega watts. And this is only one of the companies in cyberspace!

Hardly do we realise what amount of energy and expense is involved in our small messages on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media or search! The search we do is not free, it reflects in prices of products and services which we buy on line or elsewhere!

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