You know you have truly succeeded in any market when your brand name takes over as the most commonly used way to describe your market. People might talk about needing to ‘Hoover’ the house, requiring a ‘Panadol’ for a headache, finding the ‘Sellotape’ to tape something, and drinking a ‘Coke’.
And so it came to pass sometime during the early-mid 2000s, that people started talking about ‘needing to Google’ a word or topic online, as opposed to needing to use a ‘web search engine’.
So what exactly is it? A web search engine looks for user-entered information on the world wide web, and produces a list of results or ‘hits’. They operate using algorithms (a list of instructions which produce an automated task). The first ever search engine was called Archie in 1990 but was limited to listing files. It wasn’t until 1993 that a web robot was designed to roam the entire www and by the mid-1990s ,many names were vying for our attention like Lycos, Magellan, Excite and Alta Vista. Probably the biggest name heading into the end of the century was Netscape.
Yahoo and Microsoft were players into the 2000s, and Microsoft has since re-emerged in 2009 with Baidu and Bing, but it has ultimately been a dust-eating exercise. Google held well over 60% of the US search engine market as at last year (peaked at over 80%, globally in December 2008). As most people are aware, the company has since become a global juggernaut, successfully branching into other web-related areas such as Google Earth, and ‘cloud’ applications like Gmail.
The ‘need to Google something’ has no doubt induced countless wry grins for developers Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Staggeringly, they are both still several years short of turning 40, and are both worth about a cool USD $17.5 billion each. Google is not only the most widely used search engine in the world, it is the world’s biggest internet company. The genesis of Google occurred when the ‘Google Guys’ (by all accounts very very bright cookies) were doing a project while doing their PhDs at Stanford University.
They agreed they could design a better search engine than conventional ones, which only ranked results based on how many times the search term appeared on the page. The guys’ system was simply superior – ranking web pages based on the number and page rank of other web pages that linked to the page being searched. The premise for this was that the better the page – the more other good pages it would be attached to. They registered the domain name google.com September 1997 and incorporated the company a year later from a friend’s garage.
Google crushed the search engine competition, and such has been its dominance subsequently, that most people are hard pressed to name any of its competitors prior to, or since the new millennium.
Google makes most of its income from advertising revenue through its AdWords programme. Today it runs over one million servers in global data centres. It processes more than 1 billion search requests and generates 20 petabytes (1000 terabytes = 1 petabyte) of data daily.
If you have any queries or issues with your business internet connectivity please contact us at Origin IT. And don’t forget to think about Google’s unofficial corporate slogan – ‘Don’t Be Evil’!