Is Gmail Bigger than the Internet?
February 18, 2014 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Gmail is larger than the internet. A quora user asked "why gmail takes longer to search an inbox than Google takes to search the entire internet." The top reply involved an explanation that "the total contents of the web is actually smaller than the sum of the sizes of the contents of everyone's gmail." ..Which immediately prompted a followup question: "Is this true? Short answer: "Yes."
posted by thisisdrew (1 comment total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: until quora doesn't require a login to view their content, their stuff is a non-starter. If there's a way around it that will work for everyone we'll be happy to fix. -- jessamyn

Wait - this is not correct. The link says that Google's INDEX of the web is the same size as the CONTENT of Gmail. This is NOT the same thing as saying that gmail is greater than the total contents of the web.

In addition, the search problems are different. Standard google search is over a highly distributed index, and quite frankly, would you know if it returned the 'wrong' results? So they can cap it by time. Email search is over an inverted text index, and has to work precisely right every time.
posted by scolbath at 10:52 AM on February 18, 2014

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