Google is a term in which we have all come to know and love. Where else would we turn to if we wanted to find out why we should never put a sock in a toaster or who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman? (Batman, obviously!).

But as technology moves forward, how exactly has Google dominated search and what could the future have in store for this super successful tech giant? Will we see its demise or will Google continue to rise? Let’s take a look…

The beginning of Google

Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at the University of Stanford in the summer of 1995. Brin was a second year grad student in the science department and Brin had volunteered as a guide for potential first year students.

It wasn’t exactly love at first sight. The two clashed on many topics such as urban planning but admitted that it was more a “bantering thing”. They added that although they found each other a little obnoxious, they spent a lot of time talking so there must have been “something there”.

When Page eventually became a student he started searching for an idea for his doctoral thesis. He played around with a number of ideas but found himself becoming increasingly interested in the World Wide Web.

By January 1996, Brin and Page began working on a programme for a tool that was supposed to be called BackRub – named after its ability to do backlink analysis. BackRub received rave reviews but the name wasn’t quite good enough. From this, the duo started to work on Google from their dorm rooms using cheap, used and borrowed personal computers – and the rest, as they say, is history.

How has Google changed the user experience?

Before Google, earlier search engines were developing models that monetised search. Yahoo, for example, organised its paid search service, Overture, by who paid the most. Google decided to do things differently and made a model that was going to provide a better user experience.

Its algorithm took into account multiple factors including page quality, number of links and relevance to whatever the user was searching for – this was in addition to what advertisers were paying and thus, became a more attractive option. In short, Google provided the best outcome and so everyone was keen to use it.

It’s likely that Google will continue to champion search, but the development of new devices has completely altered the function. Rather than being sat at a desktop typing terms/questions into the Google search bar, users can now search on the go from tablets and mobiles. For example, Siri allows people to make commands on the go and cleverly does the work for you.

Potential threats to Google

Amazon

When it comes to Google’s competitors, you might not necessarily think of Amazon, but Google will disagree. Back in Berlin in 2014, Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt said:

“Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo, but really our biggest search competitor is Amazon.”

This largely boils down to product searches with many people choosing to search directly on Amazon rather than going through Google. Last year a study from Forrester Research showed that a third of online users began their product searches on Amazon.

Facebook

From a mobile ad perspective, Facebook and Google make up more than 50{2dccc6f52880b37d2d746d3abc02a4b8b9b58e2d7071b0dd811a90f113bde9b0} of the overall market. This might make them sound equal but when it comes to driving traffic to a website as part of a news cycle, Facebook definitely wins.

Messaging

in September 2015, Nielsen published data that showed 83{2dccc6f52880b37d2d746d3abc02a4b8b9b58e2d7071b0dd811a90f113bde9b0} of online respondents in 60 countries stated that they trust recommendations from friends and family. This trust level is high meaning that if a search engine doesn’t provide good enough results or it’s filled with too many ads, there is always an alternative.

Bing

Bing was launched in 2009 and immediately competed with Google. Microsoft invested heavily in the promotion of Bing and it proved to be a success in increasing its market share. In a short space of time, Bing started to power Yahoo Search and like Google, it makes its money from selling online advertising.

Google Today

If you thought Google was a simple search engine, think again!

The company recently introduced a new health tool which is designed to analyse the public’s interest in health issues and how it links to patterns of disease in the community.

Some of the health issues include things like cancer, heart disease, stroke, depression and diabetes and the site raises interesting questions about public awareness and how lifestyles have an impact on a number of people affected by these conditions.

In addition, Google introduced a tool with a questionnaire designed to help diagnose people suffering with depression. If a person enters a depression-related search term, the questionnaire will encourage people to seek help. The information is up to date to ensure that users have access to the most accurate and relevant material.

Whether or not Google’s data has the ability to positively impact public health and disease control is up for debate, but the company is certainly diving into a topic that has gained widespread interest. Much can be said about whether Google will reign triumphantly, but in the meantime, we’ll leave you with this Interesting Facts About Google video from JuSt4YoU.