Google.com - The World's Number One Internet Search Engine1


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Case Details:

Case Code : ITSY019
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 1996-2002
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Google.com
Industry : Information Technology Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"A profitable dot.com is a rare thing. For one founded only in late 1998, and - worse - a dotcom that includes advertising as one half of its business plan, Google's progress is a feat. But then it could be argued that Google has been flying in the face of conventional wisdom since its launch."

- Neil McIntosh, "Seeking Search Engine Perfection" (The Guardian), in January 2002.

"Google had not had a single print or television advertisement so far and most people felt that when it was launched there was not a market for another search engine. But with all other search engines developing into portals, Google stuck to the basics and now it is better than every other search engine."

- Matthew Ragas, Consultant, "The Cult Runs Deep" (The Economic Times), in March 2003.

The Most Preferred Search Engine

In early 2003, Google.com (Google), the California (US) based company Google Inc.'s search engine, was named the 'Best Search Engine' by Pandecta magazine. Google also received the 'Outstanding Search Service' award by Search Engine Watch2.

The Search Engine Watch newsletter claimed that Google was the most heavily used search site by Internet browsers.

These developments were not a major surprise for Google, which had received many such awards and recognitions since its inception in 1998 (Refer Exhibit I). Google was preferred by millions of browsers over search engines such as AltaVista, Infoseek, Netscape and Lycos.

Not only did Google rank much higher than other search engines in terms of the efficiency and effectiveness, it also scored over others in terms of layout due to its uncluttered look (Refer Exhibit II for a comparison of popular search engines). Google searched more than 3 billion web pages and processed more than 200 million search requests every day.

The search engine could search for every possible file type on the World Wide Web, in 36 languages and provided interface in 86 languages. The fact that Google had become a household name (reportedly, even a generic term for search engines) without even spending a penny on print/television advertisements or online banners was regarded as a commendable achievement. Its success was largely attributed to its constant focus on providing the best search services online, both in terms of speed as well as accuracy. Larry Page (Larry), CEO and co-founder of Google commented, "It is through our maniac pursuit to offer only the best technology and search experience that Google has earned its reputation."

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1]  A search engine is an Internet based utility that helps surfers search for specified keywords by displaying a list of documents (web pages) on the World Wide Web that contain those keywords. Different search engines use their own proprietary software to provide faster, more accurate and meaningful search results to their users. Most popular search engines, such as Google and AltaVista, are free-to-use.

2]  Pandecta is a monthly e-business magazine for Internet entrepreneurs. Search Engine Watch is a leading Internet technical guide for web developers and search engine users.






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