Nearly everyone on the planet has used one of the many Google Services on offer today, but how much do you know about the world’s biggest search engine?
In this blog post we’re going to run through the history of Google and tell you more about the company, from its humble beginnings to its meteoric rise to become the biggest source of information on the planet.
Founding and Early Years
Google was founded in late 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in California. Although other search engines were already around at the time, Google aimed to be better from the outset.
Existing search engines brought users results based solely on how many times their search term (keyword) appeared on the page. Google took things a step further by also considering whether or not a site was relevant to a user based on how many pages it contained as well as the links between pages on a site.
The first Google server was housed in a case made from Lego.
Google Goes Public
The founders of Google decided to put the company up for public ownership in 2004. They each promised to work at Google for a minimum of 20 years and sold off almost 20 million shares (for $85 each).
Google’s Acquisition of Other Companies
Over the years, Google has continued to grow by buying other significant tech companies so that it can offer more relevant services. Some of these include:
- YouTube in 2006
- DoubleClick in 2008 to assist with Google Ads development
- Motorola in 2012, allowing Google to offer Android smartphones
- Waze in 2013 to help develop location services and Google Maps
- DeepMind Technologies in 2014, an AI and robotics company
Google’s Importance As A Search Engine
What about Google makes it the search engine of choice for so many of us? What makes it better than Bing, Yahoo, or any others? Let’s find out:
First of all, Google is fast. Granted, you might have to wait a little longer if your internet connection isn’t great, but generally, Google can bring you relevant results in just 0.19 seconds. This is thanks to Google’s servers – the tech giant’s hardware is considered to be far more advanced than any other leading search engine.
We’ve touched on Google’s algorithm already, but it’s one of the reasons why the search engine remains the most popular by far. The algorithm is far more sophisticated and, let’s face it, smarter than that of any other search engine.
Because of this algorithm, Google can bring users such relevant content. If people can find what they’re looking for with minimal effort, it’s hardly surprising that the search engine remains by far the most popular.
Google is everywhere. The tech giant makes smartphones and laptops and has its own browser (Chrome). The fact that ‘Google’ is now a verb according to the Oxford English Dictionary tells you everything you need to know – you don’t hear anyone saying they’re off to “Yahoo something” or “just Bing it”.
Google are thought to run some of the fastest and most advanced servers in the world.
Google Market Share
It’s estimated that over 85% of UK internet users find what they are looking for by using Google. So, it’s safe to say that it blows the competition out of the water when it comes to market share.
Statista’s graph shows that Google’s market share has been hovering between around 83-90% since 2010, while its nearest competitor, Bing, has never risen above 10%.
Baidu and Yandex have a market share of around 2% between them. Despite a slight rise in popularity of these alternative search engines a few years ago, they never came close to threatening Googles dominance.
Google vs. Bing
Bing’s market share rose steadily after 2016 before dropping off again at the tail end of 2018, to around 6.55%. Meanwhile, Google was hovering between 86-90%.
Since then, Bing’s market share has been sitting around the same mark, never rising above 7%.
Google vs. Yahoo
When it comes to Google vs. Yahoo, there’s no competition there, either. Although Yahoo may be a trusted email platform for many, when it comes to search engines, Google is the clear winner.
Since 2010, Yahoo has held a market share of around 2-4%, peaking at 4.29% in April 2010.
Google is so much more than just a search engine; it offers a huge range of other services and also looks after its employees remarkably well. Here’s all you need to know about the wider Google company beyond the search engine.
This service offers site owners insights into how their pages are performing. It gives data such as traffic, bounce rate, and session time, so you can track which pages attract the most attention from your readers. It’s one of the many tools used by internet marketing professionals when working on SEO or PPC campaigns.
We’ve all seen advertising when browsing the web, whether with Google or another search engine.
Google Ads is a great way for advertisers to reach their target audience for a minimal cost. The advertiser can set the location and demographic they would like to target, as well as keywords they would like to appear in the search results for.
Google will then take a charge a fee every time a customer clicks on the ad. This is known as pay per click.
Google Workspace, Formerly G-Suite
This is a must-have for businesses of all sizes. It includes access to Gmail (for email), Google Meet (to hold virtual meetings over a video call), Google Drive (cloud-based storage), as well as software such as Google Docs and Google Sheets.
An app is also available to access all of the above services on the go from your phone. Personal users can also create an account to access many of these services. You won’t need to purchase a subscription, the services are often free to use.
YouTube is also owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google
Google is often considered one of the best companies in the world to work for, and there are many reasons why it has earned that reputation. The company puts employees first, and plenty of measures are in place to ensure that they have a great work-life balance and stay mentally and physically healthy at work.
From dogs in the office to on-site hairdressers and a flexible working schedule, it’s easy to see why a job at Google is a desirable one!
It’s not all fun and games, however; sometimes, there’s also work to be done. But, Google’s constant innovation means employees are working in an exciting, fast-paced environment.
Few other companies can claim to be quite as innovative as Google, and who doesn’t want to be part of something that could change the world?
How Google Search Works
You might think that Google brings you all the world’s information as if by magic, but things are slightly more complex than that. Google’s mission statement is to make “the world’s information universally accessible”. Here’s how it does so:
1. Crawling the Internet
No, it’s not what babies do before they can walk! This type of crawling is what allows Google to discover pages that exist online.
Google is always searching for new pages online. It ‘knows’ pages if it has visited them before. Others are easily found from a sitemap or by following internal links from category pages to blog posts within that category on your site.
2. Indexing Web Pages
Google’s ‘spider’ will then crawl the newly-discovered pages to find out what they are about. This process is known as indexing. During this stage, everything is considered – the text, media, alt tags, and headings.
3. Search Results
Finally comes the part of the process we’re all familiar with – the search results are displayed on your browser.
Results are based on several factors, but it all comes down to Google’s algorithm, which is constantly being updated. The results that are shown should be:
- Relevant – Google does a good job of understanding what a user is searching from, just from a few keywords they type into the search bar.Again, this goes back to SEO. After crawling the page, Google knows what it’s about and when it should show this particular page to someone looking for a certain piece of information.
- High-quality content – Google has highly advanced spam filters, meaning spammy pages should not be displayed on the first page of your search results. Spammy content includes the likes of:
- Sneaky redirects (known as cloaking)
- Hidden links or text
- Irrelevant keywords/keywords stuffing
- User-generated spam (usually in the comments section)
- Auto-generated content that makes little sense
- Scraped content – articles that have already been published elsewhere being reused without the owner’s permission
- Local – When you search for businesses, you should see results that are local to you. So when you’re on holiday, you might find the Google search results you get for the same keyword are different from when you’re at home. This is great when you need to find a store nearby or to access a particular service, like a local taxi firm.
So, now you know a little more about how Google can “take all of the world’s information and make it universally accessible”.
Thanks to its sophisticated algorithm that brings users relevant results, Google has been the search engine of choice for most of the world for many years. Based on the stats above, it doesn’t look like this trend will change anytime soon.