HEY PEEPS! This is Awais Ali. You guys might know me if you are following my previous blogs. Today we are here to know How Google changed the world of Search and search engines. Sounds cool haan! 😃
In the 2020s, we can easily access every single page available on the World Wide Web at our fingertips within seconds. We can download, play and stream everything available on the internet. But, this was not even practicable a few decades ago. In the early 90s, People were enabled with the internet but there was no way to find out the relevant information that could satisfy them. For example. If I wanted to know about how a banana tree grows, I had to go through a page to another page expecting to find the page that could instruct me how a banana tree grows.
The solution was nowhere found to search the legit information or legit page on the internet. Even the Tech masters of those times gave up on solving this problem. 🙁
Where did the Key Come From?
To know the history, we have to go back in time.
1994: David Filo and Jerry Yang, students at Stanford University discovered a useful way of using the internet. But, how did they get this idea?
David and Filo were preparing to win a Basketball tournament they participated at University. Before the match, they collected all the previous Basketball tournaments’ data and stats available on different web pages. Luckily, this worked for them and they won the match! 🙂
The technique was appreciable, but it didn’t help that well because of the limited access to information available on the Internet.
A guide or a directory was needed to discover the edges and limits of the Internet. Jerry and Filo decided to find a way that could make the search happen. They started making a directory by collecting the pages and compiling them into a Library which could help people to use the internet effortlessly. After the days of backbreaking work, they finally introduced a search engine that actually works and finds information.
They introduced that directory to people who use the internet and it became globally popular overnight. People entitled it “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web” which sounds too traditional. Soon, Jerry and David realized and decided to give it a shorter and exciting name. A name that can excite people, it was Yahoo! You feel the Tune! Don’t you? 😀
Now, it was time to expand the limits of Yahoo. They got to meet a venture capitalist Michael Moritz who was the owner of Sequoia Capital. He helped them throughout the establishment of Yahoo.
Yahoo was popular amongst youngsters to old-aged guys. There was millions of traffic on Yahoo but it was making no revenue at that time. The only way to make Yahoo a revenue-generating company was to accept the Banner Ads which Jerry and David didn’t want to. There was no other way of potential revenue and they had to accept Banner Ads later in 1995. This did not affect the traffic of Yahoo and gave a boost to Yahoo’s profits.
1996: The web war started. Yahoo started getting competition by such search companies like InfoSeek, AltaVista, Lycos, and so on… But the biggest competitor to Yahoo was Excite. Excite was another search engine company discovered by a group of students at Stanford University. Their technique was way more advanced than Yahoo’s technique of search. There were search suggestions while typing which we use to perceive everywhere on the internet these days.
The competition was tough. Companies started new businesses. Yahoo started email services, Excite started it too. Excite started Personalization, Yahoo started it too. All they wanted was to spread out their business. They just stopped focusing on search quality. When it comes to practical information, Yahoo, Excite, and other Search engines were profligate. Their search results were very relevant and you had to find your suitable information for hours which we find within milliseconds today. Almost all the results were about trading and selling.
Here Comes the Game Changer
It was mid of the 90s. At Stanford University, 2 youngsters met at a college tour. They were Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Larry was already popular for the inkjet printer that he assembled with Lego blocks. Larry and Sergey together programmed an algorithm called PageRank. The algorithm was programmed to overcome the problems of Search engines of those days. The PageRank algorithm ranks the pages based on page popularity.
For example: if a page is linked with as many as other pages, it is considered a popular page. Or we can say page “A” is getting links from page “B” and page “C”, it is a legit page. We often call them Backlinks these days. A simple but significant solution for internet search.
They named their Search engine BackRub and released it first on Stanford’s website. Cheer! People got to interact with a Search engine that really provides them relevant information. Google’s traffic was accumulating with each passing day. It was getting harder to handle the requests coming from the traffic by Stanford’s servers.
Now, it’s time to go to Silicon Valley, a place where the future is designed. The competition was at its peak these times in Silicon Valley. According to Statista.com, Google hits a revenue of $181.69 Billion US Dollars in 2020.
Seeing the stats, it feels like Google was getting a vast amount of investors back then. But, the reality was inaccurate. Larry and Sergey wanted the investors to start a business for their Search engine.
They first approached Joe Kraus who is a co-founder of Excite. They wanted Excite to merge with their Search engine but things didn’t work. Joe Kraus could easily buy Google for only $1 million, but he refused to deal with boys. It was really a mindless decision I think. 😅
Later, Larry and Sergey got to meet Andy Bechtolsheim, a venture capitalist of Silicon Valley who was investing in multiple startup ventures these days. They introduced him to their search engine. Their Search engine was easier and results were relevant. Andy Bechtolsheim actually got impressed with their search engine BackRub. 😁
That’s how they started a business and renamed their Search engine the newer name Google in 1998.
But things were not that easy. Although their Search engine was great to use and the traffic was skyscraping. But where was the revenue? Initially, Google also faced the same problem as Yahoo. There were users on Google but no revenue was there that supports the company. Accepting Banner Ads was the only possible way at that time to start getting bunce with Google. But, Larry and Sergey did not want their Search engine to show advertising banners like other Search engines were showing on their search page. The time was passing and the solution was compulsory.
How Google Started Doing Business?
Larry and Sergey got an idea with the term Keyword. So, what is a keyword? The keyword is a query that a user enters into a Search engine to search for information or results. Keywords are the future of Business. For instance when a user searches for something. You get a chance to look into the mind of that user and understand the entity. In a nutshell, you can get to know what a user wants and thinks about while searching.
2000: Google used this term and started a new way of advertising. It was called Google Adwords. Google Adwords was a new network where website owners could advertise their website on Google’s search pages. For example: If someone searches for a query “mobile”, then xyz.com appears. Xyz.com pays Google to appear in the first position as a result. It was not PPC but another way to advertise on search. This looked way better than older Search engines full of advertising banners and it maintained the users’ experience as well.
Google proved the potential of a Search engine.
Google has improved its search results and advertisement over the years with its search algorithms. Google is dominating the World of Search and I can claim that Google is the best Search engine available today. 🙂
From our smartphones to our smart homes, and online streaming to gaming, GOOGLE IS EVERYWHERE and it keeps growing with smart technology.
I hope you guys like the story of Search Engines and How Google changed the World of Search. I expect to catch you guys up in my next blog or story soon. Please share your thoughts in the comments down below and feel free to share it with your friends with a positive smile. 😄