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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

Last updated on: September 27, 2010 16:12 IST

Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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The world's No.1 search engine, Google is 12 years old. And the popular Google Doodles celebrates the day sharing a cake with the world. The cake was painted by an 89-year old artist, Wayne Thiebaud from Los Angeles.

Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin named the search engine they built 'Google', a play on the word 'googol', the mathematical term for 1 followed by 100 zeros.

The name signifies the huge volume of information that Google stores. Google's mission is to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Founded in 1998 by Stanford students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today runs over one million servers in data centers around the world, and processes over one billion search requests every day.

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Image: Painting of a cake.

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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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What began as a garage start-up, Google has seen an impressive growth in these 12 years with profit to the tune of $6.520 billion and total assets of $40.497 billion.

Besides, Gmail e-mail software, and social networking tools, including Orkut and, more recently, Google Buzz, Google's products extend to the desktop as well, with applications such as the web browser Google Chrome, the Picasa photo organization and editing software, and the Google Talk instant messaging application.

Google leads the development of the Android mobile phone operating system, used on a number of phones such as the Nexus One and Motorola Droid. Alexa lists Google as the Internet's most visited website.

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Image: Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google founders.

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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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"The perfect search engine," says co-founder Larry Page, "would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want."

1. Focus on the user and all else will follow

Google has focussed on the users from right from the beginning. The homepage interface is clear and simple, and pages load instantly. Placement in search results is never sold to anyone, and advertising is not only clearly marked as such, it offers relevant content and is not distracting.

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Image: Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a RechargeIT car.

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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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2. It's best to do one thing really, really well.

With one of the world's largest research groups focused exclusively on solving search problems, Google does a job it know very well. Finding information is a fast and seamless experience for millions of people.

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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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3. Fast is better than slow

Google aims to please its users. Google likes people to leave the website as quickly as possible, ensuring that no time is wasted finding any information.

The average response time on a search result is a fraction of a second. The company always considers a mobile application or Google Chrome, a browser designed to be fast enough for the modern web.

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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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4. Democracy on the web works

Google search works because it relies on the millions of individuals posting links on websites to help determine which other sites offer content of value.

Google assesses the importance of every web page using more than 200 signals and a variety of techniques, including the patented PageRank algorithm, which analyzes which sites have been "voted" to be the best sources of information by other pages across the web.


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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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5. You don't need to be at your desk to need an answer

Since people want access to information wherever they are, Google's efforts are to build new technologies and offering new solutions for mobile services that help people all over the globe to do any number of tasks on their phone, from checking email and calendar events to watching videos, not to mention the several different ways to access Google search on a phone.


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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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6. You can make money without doing evil

The revenue generated is from offering search technology to companies and from the sale of advertising displayed on our site and on other sites across the web. Google does not allow ads to be displayed on the results pages unless they are relevant where they are shown.


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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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7. There's always more information out there

Google says their researchers continue to search ways to bring all the world's information to people seeking answers. The goal is to make information meaningful and readily accessible.


Image: Google office.

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Google @ 12: What makes it a success

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8. The need for information crosses all borders

Google has offices across 12 destinations in the world and has more than 150 Internet domains, and serving more than half of the results to people living outside the United States. The search interface is available in 110 languages.


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9. You can be serious without a suit

Google loves to have a causal approach to work. Google founders believe that Google work should be challenging, and the challenge should be fun. Great, creative things are more likely to happen with the right company culture so employees are passionate people from diverse backgrounds with creative approaches to work, play and life.


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10. Great just isn't good enough

Google dreams big. The company sets goals knowing it's impossible to reach it yet. But continued pursuit for perfection makes the services more unique and efficient. The constant dissatisfaction with the way things are done becomes the driving force behind everything Google does.


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