Google’s Data Footprint Will Blow Your Mind

Seriously, they have a f*** ton of data!

Lewis Gavin
5 min readOct 12, 2020


Photo by Ian Battaglia on Unsplash

It should come as no surprise that Google stores and processes a lot of data but have you ever wondered how much data they actually have?

If you list some of the services and companies associated with Alphabet (Google’s parent company) you’ll end up with something like this:

  • Google Search
  • YouTube
  • Gmail
  • Google Maps
  • Android
  • Google Photos
  • Google Play (store, videos, music)
  • Nest (including Google smart home devices)
  • Google Analytics and AdSense
  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides

This list feels like it could go on forever…

Each of these services is used by millions of people and generate an insane amount of data, so let’s see if we can figure out how much.

How Much Data Does Google Search Handle?

To start with, let’s just look at Google Search alone. Search is Google’s core product and a lot of the data obtained through Search makes its way back into the other services. If we can understand the size of Search, it will help put the other services into perspective.

In 2017 it was reported that Google “processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.”

I would estimate that this is now between 2–3 trillion searches per year as a conservative guess. Think about what this data can tell you. We’re asking Google every question imaginable, all day every day.

Not only does Google understand what people want to know but also which websites they use to get their answers from. Once Google knows the best place to obtain the answer, it can basically pretend it knows it itself.

Google becomes the answerer.

Basic questioning aside, this data also provides a way to understand human language and interaction. Think about how much of our daily interactions…



Lewis Gavin

Data and Productivity Writer — Data Architect at