Sep 122010
Google at 12: 10 IT Lessons the Search Engine Giant Has Taught Us
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Google is now 12-years-old. And over the past dozen years, the search
engine company has grown from a small startup with big hopes to the company
that has single-handedly changed every facet of the technology industry.
Whether its online or in the software space, Google has found a way to carve
out a significant portion of the market.

But that doesnt mean that everything Google has done or
accomplished over the past 12 years has been good for users. In fact, a valid
argument can be made that Googles desire to not be “evil” has backfired over
the past few years. And in some ways, the company has lost its way.

Simply put, Googles story thus far is one of both good and bad.

Here is a look at what the IT market has learned from the Google over
the past 12 years.

1. Search really can work

When Google first got into the search
business, the space was
different than it is right now. It was dominated by a few firms that understood
what needed to be done when searching the Web, but they didnt have a good idea
of how to implement it. Google changed all that. And Google showed that by
relying upon the Web community and coming up with unique ideas, there is a way
to make it big in search.

2. Web-based advertising is the future

When Google decided to use advertising to build its business, the
company showed the rest of the market that Web-based advertising is both the
present and the future. Nowadays, companies are investing in online ads at a
more frequent pace than ever before. And they have Google to thank for it.

3. Companies can do more than one thing

For a while, Web-based companies seemed to
believe that if they did one thing right, they would be just fine. eBay did auctions and Amazon did online
retail, but Google has shown that online firms can do all kinds of things and
be successful. The company has gone from search to advertising to cloud
services to mobile operating systems. And now its planning on expanding into
fiber networks. If nothing else, Google has shown that a Web company doesnt
need to be tied to the Internet.

4. Being “good” is easier when young

Since the beginning, Google has said it doesnt want to “be evil.”
But as it has grown and become a major organization, it has had more difficulty
proving to consumers that it is always the “good” company. Its most recent issues with privacy
advocates on Google Buzz
and StreetView illustrate that point. Google has shown that the larger a
company gets, the harder to keep users happy.

5. Size matters

Google is a massive company. And due to that size, the company has
been able to keep other potential competitors at bay. In fact, whenever a
company gets a little bit too big or the firm believes it can help its own
services, Google simply acquires it. The strategy has worked extremely
well in the past.
And it will likely continue to work going forward. But because of that, small
firms hoping to repeat Googles success could have some trouble.

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