The company has had significant success, epic flops and has different parts to it’s complex personality that only a select few people know about.
Google is not only the world’s most popular search engine or a way to assist directionally challenged people to get from A to B, but boasts over 200 different products!
Some of those products will be familiar to you. For instance, Gmail and Chrome web browser. Others are more obscure such as Google Arts & Culture, which gives virtual tours of galleries, museums and landmarks.
Some were even complete busts, like failed social networks Jaiku and Google Buzz, which hoped to challenge Twitter and Facebook.
Think about this, there are 4.5 billion active users on Chrome and there are over 2.3 million searches every second. That is 2 trillion searches every year!
It is easy to see why we are called the selfie generation, out of 4.5 billion users over 50%, myself included, google themselves.
Best Google products of a time
The most used google products have become ingrained into our everyday life without us even realising it.
This is the most used search engine, and it made its debut in 1997.
The ball park of its success is due to the PageRank algorithm. This algorithm is used to help prioritise the value of web pages so it can offer results tailored to everyone’s individual interests.
The search engine is continually optimised. It has also undergone multiple algorithm modifications over the years – sometimes to the annoyance of website owners.
Android is one of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world. It is also one of their most successful investments.
They acquired it in 2005 just as the wide adoption of modern smartphones was about to hit, and have never looked back.
Today Android has 1.4 billion active users worldwide, supports over 2.5 million apps from Google Play, and generates revenue of $31 billion annually.
Not bad considering its estimated they only paid $50 million to acquire it from Android Inc.
Available in 103 languages, Google Translate is used by over 200 million people. You can get to it via both web and mobile platforms.
You can translate in 29 languages using only the camera of a phone which proves useful when travelling.
There are 52 languages available for offline translation. Translate has been connecting star crossed lovers from around the globe since 2006.
Not all of the company’s products were as successful as the ones mentioned above. Some failed because they could not find the right public. However, some lost their way because the implementation was wrong even though the original idea was brilliant. Others were more in the lines of ‘why?’
This was an attempt to create an environment for an online life that let users create avatars and interact in a 3D environment.
The concept tried to replace chat rooms that had been around since the dawn of Internet. But, the promise of a new level of interaction with the Web failed to deliver.
The “answers” concept was around before Google came up with the idea of setting up Google Answers. Remember the question and answer functions such as AskJeeves and Yahoo Answers?
The reason this venture failed is that you can get an answer by Googling it instead of posting a question and waiting for an answer from strangers.
No this was not the failed investment in a dodgeball league. However, they did acquire a bizarre social network in 2005 that was a cross between a dating app and a map service.
Dodgeball, was powered by SMS. Users texted their current location to the service and they were then notified of any contacts who were nearby. These could be friends of their contacts and so-called ‘crushes’ which users mutually agreed to.
Even thought they reengineered the platform in 2009 and renamed it Latitude, but even though it ditched the archaic SMS function, nobody was interested and it raised privacy concerns.
Unknown Google products
Google has specially developed products that are not well known within the general population. Here are a few of them:
This service emulates the popular Google Earth, but instead of exploring our planet, it allows users to explore the red planet.
This is a website for advertisers and other creative professionals to get inspiration and marketing insights directly from Google.
A search engine for scholarly articles, Google Scholar allows users to access a wide range of academic books, theses and articles for their research. Features include citations, metrics and alerts for those moments something new is published in your research field.