There are nearly 75,000 Google searches performed every second as of 2019. This is double what that number was just five years ago. Google search is easily the most popular search engine in most countries on Earth by a large margin.
Not only is Google a giant when it comes to determining the kind of information each person will receive when they run these searches, but they also help shape the policies that regulate how this information is stored, shared, and more. How? For the last decade, Google has been one of the top 10 spenders when it comes to politics and lobbying. They are one of only three companies consistently on that list.
In addition to search and information providing services, Google offers and is integrated with several other, related companies and devices. Many of these are in the IoT space and help connect your Google accounts and search activity with other aspects of your life.
One Account for Everything
Google offers you the ability to send and manage email, create and remember complex passwords, and even stores your credit card information, address, and more. These details make up your entire identity on paper, and millions entrust every piece of their data to Google- a company that may or may not be entirely different than nearly any other.
A Personalized Experience
Not only is all of this data stored for your convenience, but it can also be used. In most cases, this is either benign or helpful. You look up a specific type of dress, or a particular style of music and Google begins showing you advertisements that align with these interests.
If based on your search history Google has decided that you are a woman in their mid-30s living in the Midwest with a middle-class income, it will start showing you content and advertisements that it thinks will interest this particular model it has of you. Without rewriting your entire online identity, a model like this can be challenging to change.
Again, this is meant to be helpful and to make your experience interacting with Google and Google’s products into a seamless experience. However, it may also begin to put people in boxes and create unrealistic expectations.
Google and Business
With Google being one of the first places anyone will look for information, whether they need a recipe for chicken sambal or SEO consulting services, begin able to rank well can be a make or break factor for any business, large or small.
Being in the first three Google results will lead to many more eyes on the webpage of a business. Being on the first page can still be great publicity. Having a highlighted image, answer, or product can also bring in prospects.
Being buried, on the other hand, hard to find or not able to be found at all can hurt the credibility of your business in a worst-case-scenario. If your company bases the majority of its customer acquisition efforts online, Google could decide if it’s feast or famine.