I’ve suggested before that you should think of each search as a question.
Paid search ads are run in an attempt to raise your hand and deliver answers.
Today Google noted that they are monitoring over 1 trillion URLs, for use in finding the organic rankings which are delivered on search result pages. Wow.
But I was glad to see how they characterized the reason why they’re doing all this work:
As you can see, our distributed infrastructure allows applications to efficiently traverse a link graph with many trillions of connections, or quickly sort petabytes of data, just to prepare to answer the most important question: your next Google search.