Google BigTable

What Does Google BigTable Mean?

Google BigTable is a nonrelational, distributed and multidimensional data storage mechanism built on the proprietary Google storage technologies for most of the company’s online and back-end applications/products. It provides scalable data architecture for very large database infrastructures.


Google BigTable is mainly used in proprietary Google products, although some access is available in the Google App Engine and third-party database applications.

Techopedia Explains Google BigTable

Google BigTable is a persistent and sorted map. Each string in the map contains a row, columns (several types) and time stamp value that is used for indexing. For example, the string of data for a website is saved as follows:

  • The reversed URL address is saved as the row name (
  • The content column stores the Web page contents.
  • The anchor content saves any anchor text or content referencing the page.
  • A time stamp provides the exact time when the data was stored and is used for sorting multiple instances of a page.

Google BigTable is built on technologies like Google File System (GFS) and SSTable. It is used by more than 60 Google applications, including Google Finance, Google Reader, Google Maps, Google Analytics and Web indexing.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.