Thirteen years ago, that is on 27th of September, 1998, Google Inc was registered as a company. As it turns an awkward teen, we look at the growth, transitions, success and pitfalls of the services offered by the brand, and its impact on the Internet at large. While the roots of Google as a search engine can be traced back to January 1996 (when it was first called BackRub), it was only after the company was incorporated that it bloomed to its full potential.
Let’s take a look at what they did right and what flopped in Google’s reign so far:
Google took its nascent steps into technology with the search engine, which continues to be the backbone of its operations. The success story of Google has a lot to do with its robust search optimization tools, and is rated as the most visited site as per latest Alexa rankings (the top two sites most visited in India are Google.co.in and google.com). In fact, a comScore result in August 2011 shows that Google sites make up for 65% of the search market in the US. However this journey had its share of security run-ins too, especially with the communist nations and the EU. However, everything said and done, Google did manage to strengthen its search engine roots with a variety of other products like Google Analytics and Google Maps. Maps have been a runaway success thanks to the mobile computing segment as an independent product too.
It started off with just looking for what you want
Google AdWords and AdSense (AdWords: October 23rd, 2000; AdSense: June 18th, 2003)
How do you make a living and ensure that you pay enough salaries to not just become the best employers in the world, but also attract the brightest of minds, selling free services? Well you can't. You need resources that earn you your bread and butter and Google is no different. Google AdWords was launched on October 23, 2000 and is the company's primary advertising product that acts as its important source of revenue. The company registered total advertising revenues of over $28 billion in 2010 alone.
Helping you understand the web
AdSense launched on June 18, 2003 and is a program that enables AdWords advertisers to publish advertisements on website. These advertisements are placed and maintained by Google, which makes it possible to calculate revenue based on the per-click or per-impression basis AdWords model. Form this service, Google reportedly earned US$2.34 billion in 2011 alone. The success of AdWords and AdSense lies in the fact that it presented ads in an obstructive pattern, but an effective way, unlike flashy ad banners that was quite a rage in the 90s.
Google Image Search (July, 2001 No confirmed date available)
Google's runaway success in the search arena wasn’t merely because they focused primarily on their result base, and not flaunting ads, but also because of how they added more features to make it all pervasive. To further the process, they introduced the image search feature in July, 2001. The multilingual project was tied well with the main interface of the main search window where in users were offered to jump directly to the image search page directly through a search listing. As of 2010, the service is said to have indexed over 10 billion pages (1), with over a billion hits every day (2). And as a birthday gift, they have thrown in some new features: apart from image size, color and type, you can also sort the image results by subject. So for instance if you search for Jaguars, you can narrow it down as animals, cars, locations, etc. Quite an impressive upgrade! Now the next best thing would be image based search, akin to Google Goggles on the Android platform.