Google, the journey begins.

The story of Google begins in 1995 at Stanford University. Two students, Larry Page who was considering Stanford for his grad school studies, and Sergey Brin built, already a student, built an online platform that allowed users to search the internet using links. Individual pages were listed one after the other with the first being the most relevant to the search query.

Google wasn’t the first search engine, but it was the best. Through understanding user intent and pinpointing web pages with the exact content users were looking for, Google was able to set itself apart from the competition.

Twenty-five years later, if we want to find the answer to any question, we just Google it.

Google’s Monopoly in Statistics

It’s not hyperbole to say that Google enjoys one of, if not the, biggest business monopoly the world has ever seen. According to statistics published in October 2020, Google has a 92.95% market share. Google’s closest competitor, Microsoft’s Bing, has a 2.74% share of the search market, with Yahoo (now powered by Bing) coming in third at 1.2% market share.

Think that’s eye-opening? Try this. There are approximately 3.5 billion Google searches performed every day! The most Googled search term in 2020 is Facebook with a search volume of 151,500,000. The second most Googled search term is YouTube with 142,200,000.

There’s something else too. Google owns YouTube. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, therefore, owns the top two search engines in the world by search volume.

In January 2020, Google became only the fourth company in history to hit a market cap of $1 trillion behind Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Google’s Influence

The success Google has enjoyed can be best summed up by the fact that so prevalent is the search engine in the public’s consciousness that ‘Google’ is a verb. The search engine is our curator of boundless information, answer to any question, and livelihood – for many. We pay for goods and services with Google Pay, connect with each using Gmail and Google Pixel phones, explore local and far-off places with Google Maps and much, much more.

Now, as broad as Google’s services are, don’t expect the business to rest on its laurels. The future is looking incredibly exciting radically helpful innovations that impact every area of our lives.

From robotics to self-driving cars, modular mobile phones that allow users to build a bespoke mobile phone device to their personal specifications to creating a permanent base on the moon, no idea is seemingly too grandiose.

Indeed, having acquired more than eight robotics companies, including Boston Dynamics who build advanced robotics for the Pentagon, and patented a cloud-based system that allow for a personality to be installed into a robotic skeleton, Google is serious about expanding its service and product offerings.

Google might have found fame and fortune in its search engine, but the company has plans to expand into myriad of marketplaces.

Pandemic Performance

The first quarter of 2020 saw Google report its weakest revenue growth in almost five years as its advertising revenues began to shrink in the face of a global recession. Strong revenue growth in January and February was undercut by the sudden and marked slowdown in advertising spend starting in March.

It seems not even the corporate behemoth that is Google is immune from Covid-19. However, it’s not exactly disastrous. The first three months of 2020 saw Alphabet’s (Google’s parent company) revenue grow by 13%. Whilst most companies would be doing cartwheels with this type of performance during a global pandemic, it was well below the revenue growth that search giant had been accustomed to at 20-25%.

However, in the third quarter of 2020, Google AdWords and AdSense outperformed all expectations, propelling revenue, and earnings through the roof. Alphabet recorded third-quarter net income of $11.25 billion, much higher than the $7.06 billion recorded in the same quarter in 2019.

Bolstering Google’s already formidable third quarter performance, revenue jumped from $38.01 billion to $33.01 billion once traffic acquisition costs are discounted. Advertising revenues also soared from $33.8 billion to $37.1 billion over the same period in 2019.

Yes, Google may have posted its weakest revenue growth quarterly revenue growth during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, but it has bounced back with gusto.

Market Share in China

Google may have conquered much the world, but there is one country where its influence is underwhelming to say the least – China. Home to the world’s fastest growing internet market, you’d think that Google would reign supreme across the whole of the Asia Pacific. It doesn’t.

In what came to be known as the Great Firewall of China, legislative actions and native technologies backed by the People’s Republic of China blocked access to select foreign websites and drastically reduced the speed of cross-border internet traffic. Websites like Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and, of course, Google search are prohibited.

But it’s not only Google. Concerned about how it was portrayed around the world, and wanting to keep the people of China focused on their country, agencies like the Central Propaganda Department and the Ministry of Public Security block access to The Wall Street Journal and the BBC amongst other global news outlets.

Despite prohibited access in mainland China, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau are offered a degree of autonomy and Google can be accessed by those who live there without access to a VPN. People living in Taiwan can also access Google because China has no jurisdiction over the country, despite the conflicting political stance of the two countries.

The largest search engine in China is Baidu which has a 50.42% market share as of October 2020. Sogou, a subsidiary of Chinese internet company Sohu, Inc has a 23.7% market share. Google has a market share of just 10.06%.

How Did Google Become a Trillion Dollar Business?

There are many different reasons why Google enjoys such a vast market share, not just in the UK, but in every part of the world, apart from China. How did Google achieve this? Let’s break this down very simply.

Promoting a User-First Mentality

Simply put, Google provides better search results than competing search engines. The algorithms are more efficient in providing users links to the content they want, ranking organic results with pinpoint accuracy in a fraction of a second. It all boils down to customer service. Users like the results of their Google searches. Happy users become repeat users. Repeat users become advocates.

Strong Trust Through Better Results

In providing better results, Google earned the trust of users. This results in more and more people deserting Yahoo and MSN for Google years ago. And they have remained loyal since. By constantly updating their search algorithms and focusing on user intent and satisfaction, Google has positioned itself at the summit of the search engine marketplace.

Local Results for to March User Intent

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and Google knows this. By combining search capabilities with geolocation, Google was able to deliver localised, custom results for search queries. Businesses can use the search engine to make sure that their customers can find them easily. This created commercial opportunity, allowing businesses to get the attention of customers they wanted to influence.

Evolving and Improving Algorithms

Google is in a constant state of testing its search engine results to reflect and adapt to users’ habits. Using machine learning and human analysis, Google makes sure that its search engine results reflect what users want, whilst penalising ‘black hat’ techniques (tactics that webmasters use to boost page visits whilst ignoring user intent.)

The Best Video Search Engine

Online videos have more sensory impact on users. By leveraging this, Google has created a search resource that will appeal to everyone. More than 5 billion YouTube videos are watched daily. As we continue to share and absorb video content, Google (via YouTube) has positioned itself as the go-to provider of video content.

An Enormous Library of Images

In 2001, Google’s search engine was not able to cope with the overwhelming number of users searching for an image of screen actress Jennifer Lopez. As a result, they developed the image search engine.

This gives users another way of searching for content and proved to be the next step in the evolution of content searching.

When you combine all this with an evolving suite of products are services that inspire and are indispensable to almost every aspect of our modern, everyday lives it’s not hard to see why Google processes an average of 40,000 search requests every second.

Given the prevalence of Google, our lives seem almost unfathomable without the search engine. The next time you wonder how the business is worth so much money ask yourself what would you do without it?

Why has your website lost Google ranking?

Let our SEO experts run a deep analysis of your website and three competitors. Contact us below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.