If you ever need a quick statistic on how rapidly data grows, I refer you to this real-time visualisation. It offers a panoramic view of Google in real time. As well as obvious stats like the amount of searches committed and the amount of data received, it also had stats on the the amount of bad ads pulled from AdWords per second and the amount Google spends on lobbying and R&D.
We left the website open for a couple of minutes (1703 seconds, to be precise). During this time, Google spent $459230.98 on research and development, made $3391354.2 in revenue, and saw 194482.6 active users on its Google+ site (we were surprised by that last one too). Check out the visualisation here.