Google Inc. has a history that is as astonishing as its growth paths. In 1996, two graduate students studying at Stanford University, US, developed concepts and ideas that would later form the backbone of Google from the comforts of their dorm room. From its humble beginnings, the company has grown to become the envy of executives, managers, and engineers around the world. Presently, Google is viewed as a spectacle of web brilliance as well as a success story of good corporate and management principles.
Previous reviews done by industry experts portray Google as an organization overflowing with cutting-edge notions, rigorous management and corporate accountability, and relentless attention to detail (Hammonds 1). This paper purposes to undertake a critical analysis of Google with an underlying objective of understanding its successful corporate plans and strategies and their applications to other companies, including Altavista.com.
From its inception, Google has been in the business of providing search and advertising services with the primary objective of organizing and monetizing information channels around the world (CrunchBase para. 1). In addition to its overriding search engine that is used by millions of people across the world on a daily basis, Google offers a plethora of internet tools and applications to quest its operating philosophy of having something for everyone.
Its most popular products include Gmail, Google Maps, Google Scholar, YouTube and Feedburner. Google is a major player in the advertising industry. Indeed, the company promotes the notion that advertising should be extremely targeted and relevant to consumers. The company prides itself for offering its customers a rich source of information.
Google is the market leader in the provision of both the search engine services and online advertising applications. Due to its technologically advanced search engine, Google is able to process in excess of 150 million internet searches a day (Hammonds 1).
Although the company’s revenue base is hard to deconstruct and quantify, analysts guess its revenue collection on an annual basis is anywhere between $60 million and $300 million. With its acquisition of DoubleClick, Google now enjoys a total advertising market share of over 69% (“Google Now” para. 1). It is widely believed that both Google and DoubleClick serve advertising to over 2.2 billion users across the world. After the acquisition, Google has the capacity to serve advertising to a third of the world’s population.
Various factors have cemented Google’s success as a world market leader in search engine services and online advertising. First, Google has increasingly diversified its products and services to reach a wider number of users globally. Initially, Google started as an internet search engine provider, and offered the services for free with an intention of recouping the costs and making considerable profits from its highly integrated and structured online advertising delivered through the company’s AdWords and AdSense internet platforms (CrunchBase para. 1). This strategy paid off almost immediately since advertisers were assured of getting the attention of a considerable number of clients using the search services for free.
The company increasingly diversified its services to include email applications, Google Maps, DoubleClick and YouTube, further bolstering its presence in the industry. To further transform the company into a one-stop shop for its customers, Google has also acquired outstanding companies such as Jotspot, 2Web Technologies and Zenter. The strategy of offering most of its web-based applications for free to boost online advertising has worked wonders for the company.
Google’s quest for perfection and speed in search engine services has successfully enabled the company to secure its most ardent website visitors from switching to other search engine providers. Google engineers want to build a modern search engine that is capable of looking for everything in the web and narrowing down the searches to “deliver exactly what the user is looking for, every time” (Hammonds 1). As of 2007, an average search using the Google engine took an estimate of 0.2 seconds to execute, down from an average speed of 3 seconds registered in 2003.
Google’s other asset of attention to detail has enabled it to win the trust of its users. According to the company’s management principles, attention and trust must always be revered since its core business touches on establishing long-term relationships with people. These techniques have enabled the company to maintain its client base while sampling emerging markets in the quest to push its advertising agenda upwards.
Google’s success story is also shaped by the fact that it depend on feedback and ideas from online users to leverage expertise (Hammonds1). This means that the company views its client base as composed of not only consumers of its products and services but also a block of experts that can be used to offer useful insights to its new products and services.
These gives the company unassailable leverage in terms of coming up with products and services that are both appealing and efficient to users. Google’s internal consistency especially in the advertising business has offered the company the much needed clout over its competitors (Hammonds 2). For instance, the appearance of advertising on a web page follows the same procedures that order the search results.
As such, the rules remain simple and democratic, governed by the existing patterns of supply and demand. This kind of logic has enabled the company to reap enormous benefits over its competitors. What’s more, Google’s extravagance of talent and unlimited flexibility has enabled it to remain ahead of the pack.
It is widely believed that the internet offers a wide range of opportunities that no single player can be able to comprehensively deplete. In this sense, Google’s competitors are still in business. In essence, the market is too large and largely unexplored since Google, with an online advertising market share of over 69 percent, is only able to serve advertising needs to a third of the world’s population (“Google Now” para. 2).
In the same vein, companies have been trying to come up with new techniques and more refined search experiences to outdo each other. Also, companies in this field have come up with a new strategy of customizing their products and services according to regions and market segments. For instance, the recently launched Microsoft’s Bing search engine is strongly biased towards American clientele, and plans to launch another version that will be biased towards British users (Kendali para. 2).
According to analysts, this is one of the ways that these companies have been using to segregate the already existing market and ensure their own survival. In essence, the strategy has served them right as customers want to sample diverse products and services before settling on the most appealing one according to their needs and requirements. On its part, Yahoo has also deviated from its traditional line of offering email applications to offer search engine services. This is intended to boost the company’s advertising abilities.
All in all, the fact that Google is a market leader in online advertising and search engine services is not in question. For online companies such as Altavista.com and others to make headway in the ever competitive business environment, they must increasingly diversify their products and services to keep up with the competition.
They must come up with strategies aimed at attracting as many customers as possible to their fold. Google has perfected this by offering many free web-based applications (CrunchBase para. 1). To be successful, these companies ought to borrow a leaf from Google and entrench management and corporate strategies that will propel them to greater heights.
Such strategies include perfection, speed and attention to detail, trust, utilizing feedback and ideas from customers, internal consistency, flexibility and nurturing of talent.
CrunchBase. Google. 2009. Retrieved 4 Nov 2009
Google Now Controls 69% of Online Advertising Market. 2009. Retrieved 4 Nov 2009
Hammonds, K.H. How Google Grows…Grows…and Grows. Fast Company. 2007.
Retrieved 4 Nov 2009; http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/69/google.html
Kendali, N. Microsoft Bing – The Successful Search to Challenge Google.
TIMESONLINE. 2009, May 28. Retrieved 4 Nov 2009