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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 00:28 GMT
Google expands its search empire
Google logo
The word Google has even become a verb
The net's biggest search engine Google has just got that little bit bigger.

The California-based company says it has expanded its web index to include more than six billion items.

Four billion of these are web pages, while Google has also put more effort into the size of its picture database.

"Google Image Search has been significantly updated," said Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google. "We've doubled the index to more than 880 million images."

Top brand

Google is by far the world's most popular internet search engine. It has had a meteoric rise since the company was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

It now has more than 70% of the global market, meaning that seven out of 10 people will click onto Google's webpage when they are looking for information on the internet.

It was recently chosen as the top brand of 2003, beating Apple into second place.

The rankings, compiled by industry experts Interbrand, were made on the basis of the "impact" the brands had during the year.

Even its name has become a verb, "to Google", with people using the search engine to check out prospective dates.

But rivals Yahoo and MSN are looking to challenge Google's crown. They are both investing in search technology to try to win back web surfers.

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