If you’ve never heard of Google, this must be your first day on the internet. Google’s parent company Alphabet recently became the world’s most valuable public company. It took the title from Apple, with Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, and Facebook trailing behind.
The company has come a long way since its inception in 1998. What started out as a Ph.D. project is now a colossal conglomerate worth 547.1 billion US dollars. Google has operations in practically every kind of internet service you could think of. In many cases, it’s also stayed far ahead of its competition. Here are some of the ways Google has changed the internet.
The original search engine was Archie, way back in 1990. Throughout most of the 90s, Yahoo, AltaVista, and Lycos were largely considered the premier search engines. This changed when Google.com launched in 1997. Google introduced much more sophisticated search technology than competing engines. Other engines followed suit, revolutionizing the world of internet searches.
By 1998 the search engine had become so popular the founders had to register it as a business. Shortly after, it became the most popular search engine in the world and has been ever since.
As search engines became a common way for users to find what they need, many turned to Google for business marketing. In 2000, Google introduced its AdWords service, making it easier for businesses to get a higher Google PageRank. Advertisers can choose particular search keywords and terms to associate with their business on the engine.
Google is now the most valuable source of generating website traffic. Other search engines have adapted to offer similar services to AdWords. Some services even offer Adwords management for businesses. These services manage ad campaigns to generate more traffic to websites from Google and other engines.
Before Chrome’s launch in 2008, Internet Explorer was the most widely used browser. Although, it did have some competition from Firefox and Apple’s Safari. By 2012, Chrome became the world’s most popular browser. Some competing browsers subsequently begun using the open-source Chromium engine Chrome is based on.
Mobile Operating Systems
Mobile phones used to use many different, basic operating systems. This was largely changed when Apple introduced its advanced iOS, although this was only available on Apple products. Google’s response was to release the Android operating system. The system is versatile than iOS, being available to use on many different branded products and having a wider range of software. Since then, Android has overtaken iOS, with a wide range of smartphones and tablets operating on Android.
Starting in 2004 as an invite-only service and becoming publicly available in 2007, Gmail is now the most widely used email service.
Gmail accounts soon turned into more versatile Google Accounts. Google Accounts cover a variety of services. This includes popular video service YouTube, Google Docs, and Google Drive.
They also launched the social network Google Plus. However, this is a ghost town when compared to competitors like Facebook and Twitter. It at least gives some reassurance that Google can’t completely dominate every market they touch. Still, you’d be hard pushed to find someone in 2016 who doesn’t use a Google Account.