Google currently pursues the generic business level strategy of differentiation. Google offers many unique products and services to many different kinds of customers. By offering so many distinct products and services, Google is able to achieve a competitive advantage.
The Google web search engine, the company’s most popular service, offers users a more reliable way to search. Google’s web search engine has differentiated itself from competing search engines by utilizing a patented system called PageRank. PageRank delivers search inquiries by computing a recursive score of web pages based on the weighted sum of the PageRanks of the pages linking to them. This means that relevant web pages can be accessed based on a users search interest instead of based on how many times a search term occurs on a webpage which is how competing search engines work. The PageRank algorithm is constantly being updated to ensure the best search results possible. Also, employees at Google keep many of the algorithm’s criteria secret. Since Google’s search engine criteria are kept secret and the fact that it is difficult to imitate intangible products, Google has maintained its competitive advantage and will continue to do so for a long period of time.
Another of Google’s products that support its differentiation strategy is Google’s internet-search-driven advertising. Google AdWords is for advertisers who want to reach a qualified audience as efficiently as possible. What differentiates this Google product from its competitors is that it is easy to create ad text and manage online advertising accounts with no large upfront payment required. Also, the ads appear across Google’s growing roster of partners. Advertisers can even target customers in specific geographical locations. (http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/business.html, 2008)
The biggest advantage of Google’s differentiation business strategy is the development of