Researchers at USC have put together a new study looking at how Google serves information to its users, finding that the company has dramatically increased the number of locations it utilizes to do so over the past year.
And I do mean dramatically. According to the researchers, they went from less than 200 locations in October last year to over 1,400 this past July. The number of ISPs Google took advantage of grew from 100 to 850 in that time. As the study notes, Google has been utilizing client networks like Time Warner Cable that it was already using for YouTube content to handle search and advertising.
“Google already delivered YouTube videos from within these client networks,” said the study’s lead author, USC PhD student Matt Calder. “But they’ve abruptly expanded the way they use the networks, turning their content-hosting infrastructure into a search infrastructure as well.”
“Delayed web responses lead to decreased user engagement, fewer searches, and lost revenue,” said Katz-Bassett, assistant professor at USC Viterbi. “Google’s rapid expansion tackles major causes of slow transfers head-on.”
Here’s an animated gif showing the expansion over time:
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division. The researchers will attempt to quantify what performance gains Google is actually seeing from the strategy.