Innovative search engine officially goes live

Google counts the number of links to a site to calculate its ranking in search results.

One of the Web's more unusual search engines, Google, has officially gone live after months of beta testing.

The formal launch of Google also sees the introduction of a new facility, GoogleScout, which tracks down pages connected with those that aren't covered by an initial search.

Google, which already currently handles around 3.5 million searches each day, has proved a favourite among Web savvy users while in beta testing because of its unique and effective search mechanism, as well as a minimalist design stripped of advertisements.

The California-based search engine's method of rating site by popularity according to the number of sites that link to them proved an unexpectedly reliable way of finding things online, and has marked Google aside from more established engines.

The creators of Google have promised that the site will not sell out in order to become a banner-laden portal, but will maintain its no-nonsense ethos. Google's revenues come from leasing search services to third parties.