Google Explains How They Store High Demand Content
Google’s Garry Illyes revealed to SEO experts how the search index uses a tiered system, which involves more expensive storage that can index popular content faster. The topic was discussed on a Google podcast that many professional SEO experts listen to for a wider understanding of language complexities related to search index.
In a recent episode of the Search Off the Record podcast, Illyes explained how Google builds its search index. He began with how content is indexed on three types of storage: the Random Access Memory (RAM), the Solid State Drive (SSD), and the Hard Disk Drive (HHD).
RAM is the fastest and most expensive storage of all. SSD, on the other hand, is very fast but cost-prohibitive. Lastly, HDD is the slowest but the least costly. Among the three types, RAM is reserved for storing the most popular content online so that Google could frequently show it in the search results pages.
Illyes said that Google builds their own index and uses all the signals they have acquired. For instance, if they build an index and they choose page rank as their signal, they then try to determine how often they would serve the documents that are being indexed. Once Google has already estimated how regularly they serve the content, they will use different types of storage to build the index.
He then explained the kind of content that one can store on RAM, SSD, and HDD. For instance, if there are a lot of users that always access the same content every second, Google will store it on RAM or SSD. Take note that this number percentage is only a small part of the entire Google index.
The second tier is the SSD, which is incredibly fast and expensive, but not as expensive as RAM. However, Google will not store their bulk data in this kind of storage because they want something easily replaceable, cheap, and efficient for such kind of content.
The bulk of Google’s index is stored in hard drives since they are easy to access, cheap, and not difficult to replace.
All in all, Illyes tells professional SEO experts that Google stores famous and searched-for content on SSD and RAM while the bulk of their index is stored on something that is accessible, cheap, and replaceable.
The cost of storing even a small percentage of Google’s index on SSD and RAM can be quite high. However, if the content is of the utmost quality and can really help the searchers, then its value can justify its costs. This just means that Google wants to feed its searchers with the highest-quality content in the fastest way possible.
Just like Google, SEOs should know the importance of providing their target audience with the highest quality content. There is no way for a business to optimise one type of storage over the other. Moreover, no one knows which of the storage tiers are indexed on a website.
According to Illyes, only a few website pages are indexed on RAM or SSDs, which could be a good thing for SEO experts. This allows most websites to compete on a level playing field when it comes to the speed of the index storage.
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