Although originally founded by two PHD students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin as a research project in 1996. It grew into what was a just another search engine, competing for custom with many other small and relatively unknown search engines. But by 1999 it was beginning to emerge as the leading force. Apart from the trust it was building up with the internet users, the two overriding factors that put Google to the forefront was the way it worked. When you put a word or phase into the search box it will search and find articles/websites that have the closest relative content to what you are searching for.
The keywords here being relative and content. Lets face it, when you are looking for something on the internet you want the search engine to find you what you are looking for, or as close as possible. Google wants to provide people who use their search engine with quality and relevant content. Not a website full of adverts. This, plus the advertising networks, has made Google the number one search engine on the internet.
The advertising networks are known as Adwords and Adsense. It was not until 2005 that a basic form of adwords was introduced. Adwords are the small ads found on the right hand side of a Google search and are one of the biggest advertising platforms on the internet. By joining the adwords program you can advertise here, you choose certain keywords that are relevant to your subject and google adwords places your ad on these pages. For example, if you were selling an ebook about dog training your advert would appear when people were searching for, say dog training books, dog training, dog training collar, dog training school and so on. This system works and it works very well. It has made some individuals very rich. However, it does cost money. The more popular the search term, the more money it will cost you.
When you search for something on Google, no matter how small or insignificant, the number of websites that are listed will run into thousands, probably millions. Its been scientifically proven that 67% of people will always “click” on the website at the top of the first page. They may “click” on the second and third rankings, and even look at sites on the second and third page. Buts that's it. So, if you want people to take a look around your website you need to be at the number one spot. First ranking on the first page.
That's why thousands and thousands of individuals, businesses and even international companies are battling out for that number one spot. Because no matter what your subject is that's where the money is.
Google Adsense is a program in which you get paid for targeting your readers to another websites product or service. Basically, if you have an interesting website that gets lots of visitors, and Google places relevant targeted ads on your website. When people visit your website or blog and click on adverts provided by Google you make money. How much money depends on many factors, but it can be from a few cents up to $15 for a single click.
But Google has also diversified.
Google Maps is a satellite map and is a great resource for many applications. From advertising a location, determining a neighbourhood or street will like, finding directions, checking out where you might be going or staying, parking, the list is endless.
Google maps also allows you to view traffic, simple maps, satellite maps and terrain maps. While viewing a satellite map, its possible to view the map from a street view. Or, by clicking on a specific direction, to see the road at that stage of your trip. There is an app so now most iphones can use Google maps.
This leads onto Google Places. These two are sometimes seen as the same. However they are not. Google Places is a service that you can use to put your business on Google Maps. You can add content, pictures, video, your web address and anything else that you can think of to get local customers to visit you. Google Places is a listing that allows you to create and control the content describing your business. Google is currently upgrading this service which is great for users but how much longer it will remain a free service is in doubt. More income for Google.
Google Images can be a great resource to locate very targeted photo's, artwork, drawings, logo's, banner's and just about every other graphical image there is. With Googles advanced image feature, anyone can quickly find niche images segregated by types such as faces, photos, clip art and line drawings. Also, images searched by your niche keyword can be filtered by exact size, file type, aspect ratio, black & white or colour, internet site and usage rights. One important thing to remember with Google images are the copyright laws. Nearly all the images found will be copyright protected.
Google Earth is not just a map it a virtual Globe and geographical information program. Although free to use there is an upgraded version for commercial use and costs about $450 a year. This is a free application and can be down loaded onto most smart phones.
Google Translate is a really useful tool. Easily translating any language into English. Its just a case of copy and paste the foreign text into the Google translate text box, select the original language from the drop down menu and then select the desired language you wish to have it translated into. Although its basically a matter of going to the website and following the instructions there will always be certain phrases, idioms and slang culture that a machine will not be capable of taking into account.
Another addition to the Google stable is Google Chrome. This browser first developed in 2008 has quickly gained a large following in the market. Latest figures show it has now captured 12% of the market and rising. This popularity is probably due to the clean interface it offers when browsing the internet. Apart from being the fastest browser around it also has many other unique features that set it apart including the ability to load and customise as many pages as you want in a single go. The number of SEO apps that are available make this a powerful tool. You be aware however that Google Chrome has not been with its problems. Probably because it it has been designed a browser and nothing else, some users have had various errors and issues such as crashing, staling and errors.
Now Google has entered the mobile phone market. Although currently only available in the United States it won't be long before this goes worldwide. Known as the “Android” its not only a phone but an open software platform. This Android does not only carry the ordinary features found on a mobile phone, but also allows different software developers to use it as an easy programming interface. Apart from being lightweight and user friendly, these phones incorporate web browser access to internet services at the press of a button, multimedia services with the latest technology features, real speech recognition, advanced gaming quality graphics to name a few.
So what's next for Google ? Who knows.