Wednesday, June 15, 2022
What would the Internet be like without Google?

What can you say about Google? It has become a key component of the digital infrastructure for everyone to the point the word “Google” has become a verb. Google has provided the tools for just in time learning for just about anything for home, cars, etc  through YouTube how to videos. If you don't know something, just Google your question and you will find the answer. Tech guys have been using this technique to troubleshoot for years.


Google is the classic university school idea that became a very successful product and has become an intricate part of today’s digital ecosystem.It all started in 1998 during the dotcom boom by Larry Page and Sergy Brin students at Stanford University in California as a web based search algorithm called “Back Rub” and has now morphed into Google. The name “Google” is derived from the mathematical term “googol.”

 

“The internet is one of the world’s most powerful equalizers; it propels ideas, people and business large and small. Our mission is to organize the World’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. We aspire to give everyone the tools they need to increase knowledge, health, happiness and success.” Quote from the Google 2022 Annual Report


I believe Google has achieved that goal and we will be entering an interesting phase in the next generation of technologies that will incorporate AI learning . If we take inventory of what Google offers to users it is pretty impressive and it is free to use for everyone if you are part of the Google digital ecosystem and it all starts with a Gmail account.


The Google Digital Ecosystem

Today the world’s population is 7.8 Billion and if you take out China’s 1.4 Billion you have 6.4 billion people with access to Google and the numbers are staggering. Then you factor in that 20% of the population is under 15 years you are left with 5.1 billion adults 16+


 









How Big is Google?

1. Google Search Engine - 3.8 million searches per minute

2. Chrome Web Browser  - 2.65 billion users

3. Gmail Email - 1.5 billion users

4. YouTube Videos - 2.65 billion users per month

5. Android OS for mobile phones - 3 billion phones

6. Google Photos Cloud Storage - 1 billion user

7. Google Maps with advance features - 1 billion users/mo

8. Google G Suite (Sheets, Slides, Docs) -  2 billion users

9. Google AdSense Network - 38.3 million websites

10. Google Classroom - Jan 2022 - 600,000 downloads - largest ever

11. Chromebook OS for computers - 30 million sold a year

12 Google Play Store - Store has over 3.5 million apps

13. Google Drive - 1 billion users

 

Unintended Side Effects of the Google Invention - “ Gamers” and “BlackHat’s”

One of the unintended consequences of this invention as with any live ecosystem were the actions of the “Gamers” who try to rig the outcome of Google's search engine for better rankings, which lead to a new ecosystem called search engine optimization. This led to a wave of tools such as click bots that click on ads and links for better results, link farms that had links just for SEO results and the best of all were ad farms that were fake websites that linked to ads to scam the pay per click market that Google invented. Today, content marketing is being used as a SEO tool to improve Google rankings. As we know the better the rankings the more exposure you get. On top of this were all Black Hat Hacker threats that Google has had to deal with too.(Some critics said that Google took a blind eye to this activity in the early years of their existence)

When you are number 1, everybody is after you. 

Google has survived criticism, stealth attacks and USA style competition, but credit is due to the Google team to be the last company standing. The Google search engine can be considered today as part of the public domain and should not be owned by one company, but it is. It has evolved to become a day to day necessity for everyday life and will eventually be regulated in various countries in some form around the world. Yeah, Google has become a victim of their own success unfortunately, just ask the folks at Microsoft how it feels. When you are number 1, everybody is after you. 


Google’s risk taking nature is evident in some of their misses and they include Google+, their response to Facebook and Google Glass that came with a lot of hype and has faded away. Google has entered the hardware market with an Android Phone (Google PIxel) and Home Automation with Google Nest so they are branching out in other markets.
In the 2022 Annual Report Google (Now Alphabet) reported revenues of $257.6 billion. Google Advertising revenue was 209.7B or 81% of total revenue. Search Ads were $148.9B, YouTube $ 28.8B that was 85% of advertising revenue combined. The USA market contributed 46% of Google revenue. This is a big powerful company now and has gone through an incredible journey of innovation to get where they are today.


What Powers the Google Internet?

For the uniformed Google has 23 Data centers worldwide that provides their services with 14 in the USA, 1 in Chile, 6 in Europe and 2 in Asia. These are big facilities with lots of security and can range in size from 200,000 sq ft (4 BIg Box Stores) to 980,000 sq. ft. 


 Google is a carbon-neutral company for power use

 






The electricity demand of these types of facilities is enormous; it is estimated that all the Google data centers combined require the same amount of electricity 2 times the needs of the City of San Francisco and cost $10-$25 million a year to operate per data center. Google has become carbon neutral in their energy consumption through a 5 year sustainability strategy and in 2020 Google became carbon neutral for the first time and kudos should be given out for that achievement also.


Google’s success will face another chapter as they deal with their market dominance and the possible intervention from the USA government for Sherman Act (1890) anti-competitive measures. History has shown that when companies get too big they will intervene and this has happened in Telecom (AT&T 1984), Energy (Standard Oil 1909) and Tobacco (American Tobacco 1908). Google's Search Ads and Ad Sense network has driven local publishers to the brink of bankruptcy and this is a global issue.
Maybe history will repeat itself, but my guess is Google is already three steps ahead. Europe and Austrailia are already ahead of the curve and has introduced legislation to deal with privacy (use of cookies) and content creator rights in this new ecosystem that did not exist 25 years ago, Canada’s is now being debated.


- Martin Seto
About Me
Martin Seto

 
Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at)
reflexmediasales.com or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

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