How Google's Business Model Works

Exterior shot of Google headquarters
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If you use the Internet to browse for information, you probably already know that Google is a very powerful search engine. In fact, it is the most widely used search engine in the world.
Google's parent company, Alphabet, owns other sites you may also know about, including:

  • YouTube
  • Waymo
  • Android

Google also provides a wide array of free tools from analytical reports to document sharing and storing all aimed at attracting bloggers, website owners, and businesses small, medium, and large.

How Google Search Engines Work

Search engine algorithms are very dynamic - for the few major changes Google publishes, it makes thousands of tweaks and changes behind the scenes you never hear about.

Every search engine will tell you that algorithms are implemented to help match search queries with the best information possible. What they don't tell you is that they do this with a bias: they want to know what you are interested in to better deliver sponsored ads to you.

Websites show up in searches based on a wide variety of factors that involve everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to brand popularity in searches, social network mentions, videos, images, links to and from sites, and even factors like how many people select your site when it shows up in searches - and what they do once they get there.

It is no wonder that the industry of search engines spawned the industry of search engine optimization, which, in turn, gave birth to another industry: SEO scam artists.

Why Google Took Over the Android Industry

Google also has attracted (semi-forced) countless new clients and users to their search engine by taking over the Android phone market. Although Android is an open-source operating system, many of the Android phones bear Google's brand. When you see "G" in a mobile phone model name, it stands for "Google." Consumers have become so tuned-in to thinking Android phones are "Google" phones that most do not understand that Google has driven up the price of open-source software-based phones.

Now, Google is using data collected from Android phone users to power their search engine algorithms to further fine-tune their sales ad marketing algorithms.

Google Is Not Really as "All Over the Place" as You Might Think

It may sound like Google is a diverse business, but just about everything Google does is geared towards one main financial goal: driving more people to their search engine. Google generates 70.9% of its massive billions in revenue from selling ad space.

Without people to read ads, Google could not attract so many advertisers. The more readers, the more advertisers. The more Google knows about you, the better they can target ads. The better they target ads, the more they can charge for ad space.

The Clever Side of Google

Given the micro-focused and highly aggressive business model adopted by Google, you might think they are all about serious business marketing. But Google has a whimsical marketing side that has had a powerful impact on their brand. From time to time, the Google machine updates its search engine home page to feature interactive gadgets designed to get people talking (and visiting.)

Google has figured out the key to great marketing with a viral intent is simple: put up a cool guitar that you can "strum" on Les Paul day and see how many people send their friends to Google for a look-see. Type in "let it snow" around the holidays and snow falls in the screen background.

What We Can Learn From Google

Finding creative ways to get your brand noticed often involves invisible, secretive strategies. Sometimes, the less obvious you are about trying to manipulate consumers and influence markets gives you a very obvious edge over transparent, cliché marketing.