Google's Growing Infrastructure Advantage

Google’s content comprises between 6 and 10 percent of global Internet traffic, making its internal network one of the top three ISPs in the world, according to Arbor Networks. The maker of deep packet inspection equipment, which runs a survey of international ISPs, detailed Google’s traffic in a blog post Tuesday.

However, the total volume of traffic is just one measure of how big a web presence a company has — the other is how it can leverage that scale to cut its costs and boost its ability to better serve customers. For Google, which has long seen its infrastructure as a competitive advantage, the ability to keep its mighty web traffic on its own network rather than pay others to deliver it is a margin-boosting — and quality-boosting — advantage.

Arbor notes that Google has consistently increased its direct peering, and through the use of its own content caching appliances located at ISPs around the world, it has cut out middlemen like Level 3 or Bandwidth.com. Are Yahoo and Microsoft taking notes?

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