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FAST claims world's biggest search engine

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The Norwegian boffins behind a new search engine reckon it will be able to catalogue the entire Internet by next year. They claim alltheweb.com will be capable of searching "all the Web all the time" thanks to the Dell technology powering the service. It took scientists at Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) ten years to develop alltheweb.com which they've already described as the "world's biggest search engine". With more than 200 million unique URLs in its database, alltheweb.com is almost twice the size of search engine reseller Inktomi and three to four times bigger than several popular search engines. FAST intends to sell the technology to portals and other search services in much the same way as rival Inktomi. And it claims that the technology is so good, it can search its entire database in less than one second. So The Register decided to put it to the test. Amazingly, it took just 0.6830 seconds to find 154,446 documents relating to The Register. Unfortunately, none of them pointed to the home page -- just individual pages from as far back as 1997. If this is the kind of response users get it could turn searching the Web into a lifetime's quest. Size, it seems, isn't everything. ®

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