How Did Google Become the Powerhouse it is Today?

There is a large group of people in America today that haven’t lived in a world without internet. Life would not be possible, for them, without the ability to search for answers on their cellphones. Older generations grew up in a time without this technology and watched it grow into the monster it is today.

One thing that has become unanimous with the internet is search engines, and when you think of this term your mind immediately goes to Google. That concept is so embedded into our society that the phrase “just Google it” is a normal response to unknown questions. Many Millennials would be surprised to hear that at one-time this search engine was not the king of the internet.

In the early years of search engines, something changed that rocketed Google to the top rankings of search engines and confidently take the mantle as ruler. What was this one factor that changed everything and how far ahead is Google from the competitors Bing and Yahoo?

Let’s Run the Numbers!

In July 2015, comScore provided numbers that shows Google controls 64% of the search engine share compared to Bing with 20.3% and Yahoo at 12.7%. It is easy to see that Google owns about two thirds of the market while Bing and Yahoo hold the last third.

The data provided by comScore has been challenged by many people to be false. Ed Schwartz with Search Engine Land has conducted research that would suggest the company actually owns 85 to 90% of the market. Bing comes in second with 8.02% and Yahoo last with 2.26%.

In 2015 Google cited that they process 1.2 trillion searches each year. That’s an average of 3.3 billion searches every day, 137 million searches an hour, 2.3 million searches each minute, and 38 thousand searches each second. Regardless of which data source you believe, Google is undeniably winning the search engine war, easily!

What changed when search engines were first released that pushed Google to the top ranks of their field, pushing out all other competitors?

Why is Google Better?

The first reason Google was pushed to the top is the fact that they are simply better than the competition. While Bing and Yahoo have virtually remained the same, Google is constantly changing their algorithms to provide better search results. The constant change supports the changes in technology.

The primary features that are better than Bing and Yahoo:

  • Natural link growth is supported
  • Older sites receive slightly higher importance
  • Google punishes spammed keywords
  • Pages are judged by quantity and quality of content

The large changes that came to Google in the recent years completely changed the industry, moving from keyword stuffing to a big focus on social media. Search Engine Optimization managers used to concentrate on adding a certain number of keywords within an article to ensure Google ranked it higher. Now this is a good way to ensure your website never reaches the top page!

Redirecting their searches through social media is an effective way to stay ahead of the game by always being relevant. It is easy to follow trends on Facebook that hint towards the next featured article someone would search. All Google does is take that information and assist the searcher with faster results.

How Did They Get To the Top?

Dating back to the beginning, when Google was first released (in 1998), we see they haven’t always controlled the market. At the turn of the century Google held as much power as Yahoo. Arguably the one thing that changed to skyrocket Google to the top was its revolutionary algorithm.

Before algorithms, search engines employed editors and researches to curate links for specific queries. Google changed the game by creating an algorithm that assisted people with search results. They indexed websites and then placed a “rank” against the website to specify its importance.

Eventually, this algorithm and ranking system was named “PageRank.” Every website that’s created must be indexed before it shows up on a search. After it’s indexed, Google gives the page a rank that dictates where it shows up for specific searches. This rank can change and will fluctuate through the life of each website, especially when compared against what the user searches.

The PageRank is determined by many different things such as internal links, external links that point to the page, content on the website (in relation to what the person is searching), and headlines. All of this data is weighted for its importance (and most recently for the “trust” level of external linking websites) and plays a role in the pagerank.

In addition to the PageRank, another important concept that placed Google ahead of the competition is Adwords. This invention became important for companies to get their name in front of customers with keywords and a bidding system. Most importantly, it gave Google a great deal of money through advertising.

The money earned through Adwords was placed back into the company and resulted in the massive growth after inception.

The full history of Google is a great success story that shows a company’s determination to do the right thing, constantly grow to new sectors, and treat its employees right. Anyone looking to grow a successful business should learn from what made this company successful.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the one thing attributing to this company’s success is their desire to be at the forefront of technology and content creation. This desire pushed them to a 64% control of the market (and some would argue that data should be higher). They have become synonymous with search engines and anyone looking to find quality data should start with them.

The owners of Google are always searching for new ways to recreate the search engine. It’s easy to see that they embrace the concept that anything can be better and that nothing is perfect about their search engine. Their desire to be the best is seen through their procurement (and development) of any company that could benefit their search engine and draw in new traffic.