Google Inc.

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The rapid growth of the internet worldwide in the early 1990s sparked a technological revolution that continues to shape the world we live in today. This boom brought with it the perception of limitless opportunities and success in the "dot com" world. As a result, entrepreneurs of all kinds took to the internet with their ideas. After the initial rush into this new-found gold mine, the advantages of the World Wide Web were apparent to all who came to know and love it. While the success of opportunities appeared to have come to a screeching halt, several entities still continue to make the best of the situation. Today, names such as EBay and Amazon are commonplace in almost every household with a computer and internet connection. But, perhaps even more surprisingly, the name Google has become more than just a silly word with a meaning most people do not know. It represents a story of unbelievable success in a market that did not take kindly to small competitors. Google Inc. is now a major public corporation in the United States, but going back to its inception, growth, and success, we witness a truly compelling story. Two graduate students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin came together to work on a research project at Stanford University's computer science department. At the time they began working together in 1995, they looked into developing a new search technology that would operate more efficiently and on a completely different principle than existing web search engines. At the time, the most common method utilized by the major search engines on the internet was returns based on how often keywords appear in a particular website. The theory behind Google's search technology approached the subject from a different angle. Page and Brin hoped to produce more relevant results, rather than something based on frequency. As a result, not only was the engine to be highly reliable, but it had to produce results with unprecedented efficiency. Complex results could be posted in under a second. This technology would continue to be built upon through 1998. Interestingly enough, Google was not the first search engine to be developed at Stanford. Yahoo and Excite, two major search engines, were also born at the computer science department there (Laudon & Laudon, 2007, p. 220). Subsequently, Google is now a top Internet destination and possesses one of the most recognized brands in the world and available to anyone with an Internet connection. Google maintains the world's largest online index of web sites and other content and revenue is generated by delivering relevant, cost-effective online advertising. Businesses use the Google AdWords program to promote their products and services with targeted advertising. Furthermore, Google maintains advertising on thousands of third-party web sites using the Google Network and Google AdSense. While Google continues to expand its product line into new and existing territories, the company considers its primary industry to be web search technology. However, Google also faces competition from online advertising companies, particularly those that provide pay-per-click services (The Washington Post, 2006) Currently, Google considers its primary competitors to be Microsoft and Yahoo. Future operating performance will be directly related to the role of information technology in the marketplace. Information technology is an area experiencing constant growth and innovation, which existing companies must address in order to overcome product obsolescence. Moreover, a variety of factors exist that will affect the success and future growth of Google. First, Google must protect its proprietary search algorithms accounting for its success to date. If such methodology reaches competitors, its competitive advantage is suddenly lost. Secondly, it must be able to maintain its competitive advantage over Microsoft in areas of expertise. Microsoft is a proven industry leader in many aspects of technology and has the...
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