EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This study presents an internal strategic analysis of the search engine giant Google Inc. The aim is to discover the organization’s resources and capabilities in order to provide information on its assets, skills and works activities. Google Inc. is an IT company created in California in 1999. It has amazingly grown from its launch o the present time. Since it was launched, the number and variety of services available from Google has exploded, and nowadays counts with an exceptional variety in its offerings. This report covers a deep internal analysis in order to understand and predict the company’s performance and to answer the question of what possible strategic options the company could take.
INTRODUCTION Search engine companies haven’t been operating for so long. Most of them came into existence in the 90’s. Many of them have already disappeared, or have been absorbed in order to be able to compete with bigger companies. The growth of the use of Internet and the increase of available data (www.internetworldstats.com), has made finding data accurately and quickly highly important. Search engine companies and search engine strategies have become very important to webmasters and to companies marketing departments whom want their products and services to appear at the top of the list and on the most used search sites. Search engine companies earn their money through many different ways, but in general their main income source is paid advertising. (Wired, 2012)
HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF THE COMPANY Two Stanford University computer science graduate students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founded Google Inc. in 1998. It started as a garage company, and in only 15 years has become a firm that employs over 30,000 people all over the world. The two founders met in 1995 and began formulating their initial ideas on searching which they tried to sell, this search engine was designed to look at the connecting links between web pages in order to determine a site's authority. They didn’t get much attention or interest on it, so with the encouragement of fellow Stanford alum David Filo, who started Yahoo a few years earlier, Page and Brin decided to start a company and started looking for investors to back them. That’s the moment when Google Inc. was formed. They presented their search methods at a World Wide Web conference in 1998 and by 1999 had $30 million in funding from a variety of means. By 1999, it was serving 500,000 queries a day and the company moved from the unassuming four walls of a
garage to the now mega Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California. In 2004 Google went public, raising $1.6 billion. (Google Inc.) Google views the Internet as a means for sharing all the world’s data and to allow users an easy and fast mechanism to access this data is its primary function. It started as a search engine company, but nowadays their business covers search, maps, video, email, advertising, mobile OS, and it dabbles in photography, business reviews, fiber TV and Internet, social networking, travel management, voice-control features, heads-up displays, self-driving cars, facial-recognition systems, etc. Internet is a geographically borderless environment to them. The search engine industry has changed rapidly over the last five years. Since 2006, the dominant online advertising medium has switched from banner ads to search ads, largely following Google’s lead (Zitong et all, 2012). One of the most important ways Google has been growing has been through acquisitions and mergers. They have had different focuses through time that led to different acquisitions strategies, but always keeping in mind the company’s focus: getting access to more data in order to offer organized and accurate...