Before anyone gets ahead of themselves, no, this isn’t isn’t any prediction of the end of Google sometime soon! Right now, Google is the king of the Internet. This article is going to be my assessment of how they’re going to be able to keep that title over the long haul.
There was a time when I remember using the Yahoo! search engine over Google, more than ten years ago. Yahoo! was a great search engine that also presented the news right there for you on their homepage. Times have obviously changed. Google controls about 65% of the search market right now. But that’s not the only piece of the Internet that they’ve got their hands on. Google is involved in every single moment of our daily lives on the Internet. It’s unavoidable.
What They Have
Right now, Google controls more powerhouse elements of everyday Interneting than probably all of their competitors put together.
Google Search is where we’ll obviously point our finger first. As aforementioned, controlling 65% of the search market in the US automatically places you in elite territory. Although they are on a slow decline, with Bing gradually creeping up, they’re the go-to search engine for anyone. The market isn’t as flooded as it once was, without search engines like Ask Jeeves, Dogpile, and AltaVista popping up everywhere. Google has it locked down.
Google Chrome recently passed Internet Explorer as the most-used web browser. Not much more needs to be said about that product. Chances are, you’re using it right now.
With Google’s influence of the Android platform, Google Play now competes alongside Apple’s App Store. Google’s push into the world of mobile (which as we all know, is the Internet’s future) is their most significant move as of late.
Nearly one billion people use Google Mail (or Gmail, as we often call it). I can still remember when Gmail first came out and you needed an invite to secure your username. It caused a huge stir in the world of email and other services like Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail are practically obsolete in comparison. Again, ten years ago there was a handful of options you could trust. Today, it’s narrow and few. Gmail offers us the best free email in more ways than most of us even realize.
Although it hasn’t been the “Facebook killer” that many hyped it up to be, Google+ is nothing to shrug at. Engagement over at Google’s social network is very high and they are gradually integrating Plus into every other Google product.
Everyone adores Dropbox. I definitely do. Google is going up against Dropbox with Google Drive, their complete revamp of Google Docs. This is a step in the right direction. This is what people want.
Others may not notice or care for this side of Google (but as an Internet marketer myself, I can’t help it), but Google AdSense and AdWords are the darlings of the empire. In 2010, Google’s ad revenue hit $28 billion. This is how Google makes money. In 2011, 95% of Google’s net revenue came from advertisements, be it on Google-run websites or sites that advertise using Google.
That’s not the extent of Google’s products either. There are plenty others worth mentioning: Alerts, Analytics, Bookmarks, Calendar, Sites, Code, Finance, Reader, Profiles, Talk, Voice, and more.
What They Need
Chromebooks are out and will very soon be available at popular retail stores like Best Buy. Google needs this to really make their big next step. More than that, they need their Chrome OS to really hit it off.
Right now, Google’s main competitors are Microsoft and Apple. Both companies are known for making major moves. Microsoft controls the world’s most popular operating system and gaming platform (with the Xbox). They’ve also made some other huge acquisitions, such as Skype. Apple controls the world of consumer popularity. Everyone wants an iPhone, iPad, and a MacBook. Having a big piece of those markets gives them a lot of leverage.
As it stands, Google has a hand in almost every aspect of the web, aside from controlling the OS market and having a console gaming platform. Think of how powerful that next step would make Google. Not only would they control the software your entire computer runs on, but they’d likely be your email provider, your favorite search engine, your next-best-thing social network, the place where you go to watch videos and blog, possibly the place where you buy all of your mobile apps, and more. We’re talking about Skynet-level stuff here!
Controlling a hugely-popular OS would be the glue that holds this empire together. PCs running on Chrome could be preloaded with the Chrome browser, Google Talk, Google Drive, and have other relevant Google shortcuts right on the desktop. Maybe they could even integrate the OS registration process with Google account registration itself, and through activating your operating system, you’re simultaneously opening a Google Mail account, Google+ account, and more. It’s crazy to think of how much they have available to them.
The only question left to be answered is, “Do we want this to happen?” You be the one to answer that for me in the comments.