My name is Professor David J. Malan,
I teach computer science at Harvard,
and I’m here today to answer your questions from Twitter.
This is Computer Science Support.
First up from tadproletarian,
How do search engines work so fast?
Well, the short answer really is distributed computing,
which is to say that Google and Bing,
and other such search engines,
they don’t just have one server
and they don’t even have just one really big server,
rather they have hundreds, thousands,
probably hundreds of thousands or more servers nowadays
around the world.
And so when you and I go in and to Google or Bing
and maybe type in a word to search for like, cats,
it’s quite possible that when you hit enter
and that keyword like cats is sent over the internet
to Google or to Bing, it’s actually spread out ultimately