Google Search Appliance Winner With the academy awards just around the corner, everyone's thoughts turn toward the red carpet, designer dresses, never-ending acceptance speeches, and long lists of thank you's to producers, directors, mentors, hair stylists, neighbors... you get the picture.

Today, the Google Search Appliance was awarded the "2006 Best Product: Information Management" in Network Worlds Best Products Issue. Although the Google Search Appliance stylists do deserve much of the credit (come on, you love the swiss cheese look - yellow is the new black), we'd simply like to thank you, our customers and partners for making the appliance the premier enterprise search solution. Since its inception 4 years ago, Google Enterprise appliance customers (now over 3000 strong) have found our products easy to install, easy to configure, and easy to maintain. Most importantly, users have found what they are looking for, and isn't that the ultimate measure of a search product?

Thanks to the folks at Network World for the endorsement, we do appreciate it. And of course, thanks to the whole enterprise team for making this moment possible. Without you, we wouldn't be here... (wait a minute, this is starting to sound like one of those Academy Awards speeches... roll music)


At trade shows, I used to go on about how much information the Google Search Appliance could discover on an organization's intranet. Turns out, that promise can be about as exciting as telling people how much lint they can find under their couch. For many companies, the official intranet is a relatively tiny set of company-approved web pages containing such gems as the cafeteria menu and company holiday calendar.

I realized that here at Google, we use the term intranet to refer to an entirely different beast – a mash-up of content that includes literally anything that's accessible over our corporate network. Our Google Search Appliance hoovers up employee file shares, product team databases, marketing Wikis and engineering blogs and adds them to our internal search
index. As a result, I can quickly find everything from recent sales presentations to product launch plans right from the search box.

Your organization probably has these content sources and more, but may not refer to them as part of the official intranet. Maybe we just need a new word to get us on the same page. Something like “Enternet,” for Enterprise-network, could work. So next time you're looking for that revised customer proposal or product launch plan, consider taking a wing dip at the intranet and then rocketing over to the Enternet to get the freshest organic content...I like it.

There has been some discussion about the new Search Across Computers feature released last week in Google Desktop 3 beta, and we want to chime in. Admittedly we're of two minds on this: on the one hand, we know that our friends on the Desktop team have gone to great lengths to protect users' data and privacy.

On the other hand, we are the Enterprise team, and we understand that a company's data is more precious than gold -- and you don't go passing your gold around. So we should point you to Google Desktop 3 for Enterprise (beta) which can put your security fears to rest. This product has all the features of the consumer version -- and then some. It also includes full administrative control. Administrators can use the standard group policy settings to completely disable product features, such as the Search Across Computer functionality, so users cannot send documents from the work computer to their home PC.

The folks at Gartner have written about this, and we agree with their recommendation: "Enterprises that are not using Google Desktop for Enterprise but are allowing employees to use Google's desktop search application should start using the enterprise edition immediately and restrict its use accordingly."

In addition, Enterprise customers have asked for some features we've now added. These features include the ability to set time-based document retention policies for different content types, and a policy to control the indexing load on your Exchange servers. We think that the Enterprise version only strengthens a solid product. If you're reading this at work, you should consider it.

Just now, BearingPoint announced a search practice based on Google's enterprise products. We've been busy as beavers getting hordes of BearingPoint consultants and engineers up to speed on our technology and we're glad to have them on the extended team.

We're excited about this partnership for lots of reasons. First, the guys and gals at BearingPoint seem to share a common viewpoint with us - that search is the next killer app for business. Second, this is the first time that one of the world's top consulting firms have established a search practice, their way of saying that this is gonna be big. And third, we now have a partner that can help expand and scale our efforts to bring Google-quality search to the Global 2000.

From our perspective, companies should have more than 90 percent of their information accessible quickly and effortlessly through a single search box, and we have a first-class partner to help us achieve that goal!


As millions of people tune into the Olympics over the next two weeks, we'd like to highlight the NBCOlympics website with search powered by (can you guess it) the Google Search Appliance. A search for TV will help you keep track of events throughout the Olympics on 5 different channels. Curious where Michelle Kwan was born? (Michelle’s from Torrance, CA.) Or to learn more about Jeremy Bloom – the freestyle mogul skier (and medal contender) who is expected to be drafted into the NFL in April as a wide receiver - after taking 2 years off football!

To get a bird’s eye view of Torino and some of the Olympic terrain, load up Google Earth which has new high resolution imagery for Torino and the surrounding area. Once you have Google Earth installed, you can click on the following KMZ file, which will load placemarks for all the major venues in the Torino area. And if you want to get pumped for the athletic competition check out this Olympic preview video.

We often hear from people when describing their corporate search experience that they want simple... they want easy... they want relevant... they want... well Google. Here in Google Enterprise, we believe that simple is better than complicated. We believe that fast is better than slow. And most of all, we believe that corporate search users are people too, and they don't usually pick up a Ph.D in library sciences before coming into work.

But don't take our word for it, in his report on mental models for search, Jakob Nielsen makes the same point loud and clear. Users expectations for search have been set, they want a search box, a button, and a results list (preferably in that order). And they want the best result to be at the top. To that end, I wanted to share with you some things we think about when building an enterprise search solution.
  1. Focus on the user, and all else will follow. - Users are just trying to find something, and they've been spoiled by using Google on the Internet. They are used to typing in a word or two and getting back the right answer. So we don't over complicate the experience, and we give administrators full customization control to tailor the experience to the needs of their users.
  2. Data silos are bad. - Then why, you ask, are there entire segments of the technology industry focused on creating them? We don't know, but our goal is to break down these walls. Our search team is focused on "effortless reach", that is, the ability to easily reach into any source of information and provide search across it. All from one search box.
  3. Security is good. - When breaking down artificial barriers, you need to ensure you don't break through real ones. Search must sit "on top of" a company's identity management and access control system, and ensure that users only see in search results documents or data they have access to directly. To that end, we inter operate with basic-auth, NTML, SSO, x509 and SAML-based interfaces.
So our focus here in Google Enterprise is going to continue to be on providing a fast, fun, and easy-to-use experience to people everywhere, for search across their corporate network and enterprise information stores.

From time to time, enthusiastic Mini customers such as De Anza College send us pictures of those involved in purchasing and implementing their Mini. Here we've received a double whammy - a love letter plus more Mini hardware than is legal in most states.

"Last Fall we heard about the Google Mini and decided to give it a shot on one of our sites. Previously we were using an open source search technology that worked 'ok'. Our users found it gave poor search results and conversions were low. Once we got the Google Mini up and running, our complaints all but disappeared. The feedback from our users was overwhelming, so much so that we ordered 7 more.

We rolled the Minis out across several of our sites and noticed an instant increase in our conversion ratios. We contribute that to features like spell check and the over all great results that the Mini returns. As a Webmaster, the thing I love most is 'set it and forget it.' The Mini updates our search index on the schedule we set and there is nothing else we need to do to keep our index fresh. Here are 2 thumbs up for the Google Mini!

Thanks again!"

Mike -

The Mini six-pack might not be a bad idea for, but our new 200,000 and 300,000 Minis should fit the bill for those of you with New York apartment-style server closets.