‘Googling’ the World
‘Googling’ the World
Google to date is one of the most user-friendly, efficient and intelligent inventions known to the modern world. Not only does it provide relevant data at great speed, in the search engine business it is used in over a hundred languages making it indispensable worldwide.
In 1995, Stanford computer science students Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to ‘download the internet’ and created a system they named ‘Backrub’. It gained popularity on their university campus, with students demanding better ranking for search results than the existing search engines would offer. Then onwards the duo developed their ingenious system until it grew into what we know as Google today. The word ‘Google’ means a very large number, derived from the mathematical term ‘googol’ which denotes the number 1 with a 100 zeros in front of it. This referred to Page and Brin’s dream of creating a system that could do effective countless online searches.
Google initially had competition from search engines like Excite and AltaVista. The former was most commonly used but failed to meet users’ demands in a complete way, making Google widely accepted over the others. Today competitors Yahoo!, Microsoft and many such companies are working hard to offer
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Main Research Findings
Google since the very beginning has provided customers with a large range of innovative successful products such as Gmail their email service, Google Earth, Google Maps, both of which help with online geographical navigation, Youtube the widely used video database, iGoogle, the personalized webpage and many more. They are also on their way to creating many more customized products related to internet advertising, like the Google App Engine and Android. The Android service will allow users to connect and communicate on their mobile phones real-time and on the go. These unique products in keeping with the fast pace of modern life will create greater avenues for customers to incorporate Google into their lives.
It has differentiated itself from its competitors by taking greater steps like working closely with health medicine and science. With the advantage of a tremendous database, Google is aiming to achieve great heights combining science and technology, for an ultimate intersection -by actually downloaded a map of the human genome. This will take the company to becoming more than just a search engine and in the future, it will be empowering humanity in a better way. Google has also taken up the task of digitizing books from universities like Stanford, Harvard, Oxford etc., which it hopes will create not only a spectacular online reserve, but also cement customer loyalty.
Most companies would allude Google’s phenomenal success to careful strategic planning, day to day goals and predictable growth formulae. Surprisingly, the Google way of moving forward relies heavily on spontaneity and creative instinct. Eric Schmidt the company’s CEO believes that Google enjoys not having strategies as they often become limiting (Greg, 39). They give their team the freedom to explore possibilities, resulting in rich and fresh product experiences for Google customers. Perhaps it is the presence such a strategy in a mechanical world as we live adds the spark to Google’s universe.
However, Yahoo! with the upcoming new project ‘Project Panama’ is challenging Google’s efficiency as a search engine. This will become a lucrative online advertising venue for the market. Advertising being Google’s main source of earning, this rival project may threaten the company’s monopoly (Greg, 21). Similarly, Microsoft’s new software application MSN’s adCenter could also be a threat as it will offer ranking services similar to that of Google. In a situation like this, Google would need to secure ways of holding its ground and maintaining its position in the consumer’s fast evolving lifestyle. Google stands strong today with about 99 percent of its revenue being generated from advertisements (Data monitor, 4). Consumers viewing the numerous flash banners on Google daily help keep its revenues flowing. Obama in the recent U.S Election was seen on YouTube with his weekly addresses to the country. This created a powerful surge of advertisement on the site.
The other way the company has kept afloat for some time and also during the recent recession was that search engines like AOL would pay to use Google’s resources. This additional earning would not be as substantial as that from advertising but certainly is a pillar to lean on in times of financial crisis. During the recession to sustain business worldwide, Google also increased convenience for customers by not only offering multiple language searches but also allowed them to use ‘suggestive technology’ making translations easier where required. This again leads to more hits per second thereby allowing the company to raise their advertising rates.
Analysis and Opinion
In a world where business development usually follows a standard procedure the Google story comes as a surprise. It is rare to find the story of a team using instincts to come up with creative business strategies and rapidly innovative products. It was also eye opening to see that despite many of Google’s products that are indispensable, there were also many products in the past that failed to make it and had to be either revised or removed. It also comes as a surprise that Google reached such soaring heights of popularity and success in such little time. Google’s effect on global culture is such that now, the term ‘to Google’ means ‘to search’. Most of the brands that have such a profound impact on the consumers’ lifestyle have taken decades to achieve this ‘top of mind’ status. It was also surprising to know that members of the Googleplex’ the company’s campus, secretly customize and create their own computing systems to search, which according to the John Henessey, Google board member, is it’s ‘best kept secret’. (A.Vise, 2). It is therefore not a stroke of luck, but earnest hard work, perseverance, dedication and diligence that sets the framework for the Google success story.
It is an inspiration to follow the Google story, as it proves that conventional work environments and routines are perhaps not the only way to the top. Google seems to be the most diverse provider of online software and has a strong support of advanced hardware that carries it through. Despite the evident failure of Orkut some years ago Google perhaps planted the seed for concepts like FaceBook which is thriving today. Orkut introduced the culture of networking, and this was taken forward in a unique and original manner by Facebook which also represents the trend of the online community systems. Gmail is perhaps one of the most accommodating and helpful email services being used worldwide as it allows large amounts of data to be transferred without much tedium. It is the sheer enthusiasm and intense involvement of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the masterminds of the company that contributes to the sharp rise of their company in the market. Crisp concepts, vast and impeccable computing systems and clear focus on staying ahead makes Google a role model.
Google can work to consolidate its revenue making process by perhaps joining hands with other businesses that are not as dependant on advertising as it is. This would help in times of recession as seen recently when advertising budgets would get slashed and would result in higher profits for the company. From a consumer’s perspective, Google could always look into more diverse and entertaining products such as more and more mobile applications, game software and educational software. This would increase their consumer base as younger children would start to associate with the company and would grow to become loyal custodian of the brand in the years ahead. Google could also associate itself with environment friendly work, as it is debated that the carbon emissions from the company’s systems are creating a big fingerprint on the earth’s atmosphere (Milstein, 84). With the muscle of being eco-friendly the company would become a technological giant with humane qualities that are hard to match.
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