The magic that makes Google tick, an article worth reading if you are interested to learn how things work behind the scenes before and after you type your query into Google's search box.
Among the nicely said things in the article, here is a quote that is a bit sarcastic and arrogant:
The job is not helped by the nature of the Web. "In academia," said Hölzle, "the information retrieval field has been around for years, but that is for books in libraries. On the Web, content is not nicely written -- there are many different grades of quality."
Surely Google has done a lots of progress in implementing IR knowledge to a very practical problem, but isn't it a show or arrogance to claim that academia has not helped (directly or indirectly) Google with their search technology?