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How much does Google cost? Is it really free?

Have you ever wondered how much it costs us to have Google? Confused by the question…you probably thought Google was free. This is a misconception. The truth is Google is not free because like every other search engine it crawls the web and indexes what it finds. Google is by far the largest and now with its release of the Caffeine update the fastest crawler. It has about 25 billion pages in its index and it crawls pages as frequently as daily to once every 2 weeks. So you are probably still wondering…where is the cost? Well when Google crawls a site it uses that site’s bandwidth. Web site hosting companies charge $2 to $5 for 1 gigabyte of file transfer or bandwidth. So if Google is using bandwidth then someone is paying for it.

Now let’s do some math…hmm…takes me back to my school days…

25 billion pages x 130k (average page size) x 5 (average times pages get indexed over a month) = (calculator time) = 16 million gigabytes per month
Cost = 16 million x $3.5 (average hosting cost for bandwidth) = $56 million per month or $672 million per year. This is just an approximate number and doesn’t include video indexing which would bring the number up a lot more.

So Google isn’t so free after all. However, on the bright side majority of sites rely on Google for their visitors so it is basically a cost associated with doing business on the web.

*Note a recent study by Charzinsk in 2010 states that the average web page size is 507k.
So based on that, the amount of bandwidth Google uses would be about $218.4 million per month or 2.6 billion dollars per year.

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I’ll be working on a video version of this article which I hope to post soon. Any questions about the web marketing, please feel free to contact me at 905-417-9470 or by email at allanp73@gmail.com

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