Google, Inc. is a global corporation with its headquarters located in California which has annual turnovers of more than 25 billion USD a year (26 billion USD in 2010). Google was founded in January 1996 as a research project for an Internet search engine technology provider at Standford University by the Ph.D. candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Today Google is far more than just a Internet search engine as Google is offering a large collection of products and services. Just the Google search engine receives about a billion search requests per day.1 But Google offers a lot more than just its web search function. Today, worldwide more than every third smartphone is using Google’s operating system Android, a innovative operating system which has just been introduced three years ago. The innovative character of Google as a company, consisting of thousands of forward thinking intellectuals, has lead Google to its today’s position, setting new standards to a range of markets. Google has revolutionized the Internet, but with their latest products, they go beyond that. Most of today’s people, are using Google and their products nearly everyday: web browsing, smartphones, mail account, private image libraries, social network...2 Within this assignment, Google as a global enterprise will be examined in detail. After the introducing chapter, Google’s history will be pointed out briefly, before the main chapters are dealing with Google’s activities, a way how to segment them and finally the key success factors of each business segment, visualized in a BCG competitive advantage matrix. 2. History of Google Inc.
Google was developed by Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University in the year of 1997. The developers realized that due to the rapid growth of web pages on the Internet, available search engines only can provide unsatisfactory results as the pages would not be found in order of relevance. The approaches of available search engines in the late 90s, often used only easy structured and easy to manipulate search algorithm. Therefore, Page and Brin developed a proprietary method for classification of web pages with the so-called PageRank system. In 1997 the first fully functional prototype of Google has been released under the name of Google, and had an index of more than 25 million pages. Today, Google captured with the help of over 200 000 computers about 13 billion Web pages. This incredible amount of information, combined with the search algorithm and PageRank system, makes the perfect and simple search engine. At the very beginning the search and result pages contained no "annoying" advertising, which could distort the visitor's eyes. Google's inventors, however, lacked a source of revenue, while advertising could only come into question. With Google Adwords, a new dimension of advertising has been developed and launched in the year 2000. The content of the advertising was based on the user's query and the price of the advertisements was based on the number of clicks 1 http://www.google.com/about/corporate/company/ 2 http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1466313 3
on a link. Page and Brin went 2004 with Google public. Their shares rose immeasurably and thanks to the new capital, Google began to launch an incredible number of new projects. Numbering among them was the virtual multi-functional, global "urban plan" GoogleEarth. Hundreds of other projects and plans are to be found in the so-called master plan, which is located in the foyer of the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. 3. Google’s activities and segmentation
As mentioned in the introduction, Google has such a big range of activities today, that a clear segmentation is quite difficult. In general, Google Inc. can be considered as a company with two faces. Google as the search engine and Google as the business-services company. Together, they form what we can see today - the biggest...