Google’s massive success has been the subject of much discussion in the business sector. Engineering and executive professionals all around the world consider Google a sterling example of brilliance in design and innovation. Its constant self-improvement, hypercompetent and adaptable management techniques, and exhaustive attention to detail have led to their occupying a place of prominence in the tech and Web markets.
What specific factors, though, have led to Google’s success? Let’s take a look at the market practices and techniques that have contributed to the Web giant’s continued prominence and profitability as an industry leader. By analyzing Google’s model, your business can benefit from the paths Google has already blazed.
Change It Up: Unorthodox Business Models
In January of 2010, Google Inc’s headquarter website incorporated nine simple words into its masthead: “New! Take your search further. Take a Google Tour.” The most widely-used search engine provider on the entire Web had taken out a full-page ad for one of its least popular tools. The ad stayed front and center for two weeks before the site finally shifted its headline. It might seem like a fleeting promotion for a failing service tool. Inconsequential, right?
Wrong. From where Google’s elite programmers are sitting, the publicity maneuver was more than worth it. Google Engineers are driven to maximize results, and they’re nigh neurotic about how they achieve those results.
Google’s non-standard approach to administration, and its equally unorthodox approach to business strategy, have contributed to its success since day one. Consider the nine words that comprised for two weeks its front page link. Totally inconsequential to the average viewer, but to a Google engineer a whole suite of data presents itself. Nine words comprise, on average, just about 120 bytes of raw data. That’s just enough to slow download time by about 35 milliseconds for users employing modems.
The stress created by 120 bytes multiplied by the doubtlessly millions of searches per minute that hit Google’s homepage was perfectly understood as it related to Google’s 10,000+ servers. You’ll know how many people stop to use Google Tour, and you’ll know how many more went through to Google News as unique hits.
Google’s manic attention to detail has been part of its ability to keep current and stay at the forefront of the Web’s varied market.
If search engine is a byword for the internet, its many tools are widely used by businesses ranging from local construction companies to international assaying firms. Its comparatively small staff manages an initiative that has shaped the entire internet irrevocably. Following Google’s lead isn’t enough to achieve outstanding results, but it’s a great start toward achieving internet visibility and getting the right views about succeeding in an internet market.
Geeks at the Helm
Google’s staff is dominated by risk takers, by innovators, by dare devils and, of course, by geeks. That’s right. Not executives, not lawyers, not “suits,” but geeks. No surprise, then, that Google doesn’t really resemble other businesses of a similar stripe. They’re one of the best-administrated and run tech companies out there, constantly proving their separation from the heads-down, plodding approach taken by some of their competitors. Geeks, to put it bluntly, are a part of Google’s magic recipe.
The lesson here is a simple one that the business sector often forgets: when you want something done right, hire the people who do it best.
Since the Brin-Page advances of the late 1990’s, the advent of the Web Search as a huge struggle for popularity rather than a rigid relevance algorithm, Google has led the pack in online innovation and kept all competitors sniffing at its trail. Brin-Page factored website traffic into the relevance and importance of search results pages, creating an element of user involvement and opening up avenues for revenue to enter the Web tech model.
While current competitors have, since Brin-Page, found ways to build the kind of sorting algorithms Google did, Google is the unchallenged big kid on the block. With over one hundred and fifty million searches performed daily and a yearly revenue ranging anywhere from one hundred to three hundred million dollars, Google’s success as a tech company is hard to dispute.
Even though the company’s at the top of the game, its employees, based out of Mountain View, CA, haven’t stopped fine-tuning the search engine itself. This dedication to constant improvement is just another example of the benefits garnered by tasking enthusiastic professionals with what they love to do best.
Attention and trust. Trust and attention. Two fickle commodities in the online sector, and the most important resources a Web-based company like Google can possess. If a search engine starts slowing down, if a Google page starts losing its sleek, economical polish or if Google News starts dropping the ball on current articles, users will abandon it in droves. Too much compromise by advertising can damage provider-client relations, and Google’s strength comes from the huge following it commands.
Projects like the product-engineering effort demonstrate Google’s unique approach to using the web as a medium to acquire and exploit expertise in all areas. Google’s Product Engineering site typically showcases anywhere between eight and thirteen projects being shopped internally by Google’s staff, some of which may never see the light of day, and turns these projects into what are essentially internet-open discussions to gauge public response in the most open, honest way possible.
The idea of presenting a feature before completion is one almost universally ignored, but this kind of pre-market scrutiny helps Google to steer away from most of its sub-par ideas, and to refine its popular products until they’re as convenient and user-friendly as possible. Just hiring geeks and professionals isn’t enough: open internet forums catering to interested professionals can net your brand or business a large amount of free scrutiny.
Establishing the Feel: Google’s Mood
Google’s consistent aesthetic sense and business model make it an enviably coherent whole. Every aspect of Google’s design seems to readily agree with all the others. The whole machine fits together expertly, self-referential and streamlined. Even advertising on Google’s many branches is controlled by the same algorithms that manage search engine results and outline the demand for as-yet uninvented products. And Google is always improving its assessment programs, never resting on its laurels.
Overbuilding is a core tenet of the Google ethic. The company has more integrity than it needs, more talent than it requires, and generally a surplus of anything value-providing. Not only does this create a secure and self-improving business model, but it allows excess talent to focus on increasing the company’s flexibility and versatility. This kind of in-house clout lets Google stay ahead of the rabid competition from rival tech companies.
Almost everyone has something to learn from Google. Demonstratively, most information on the tech giant comes from its own search engine results pages. Its market saturation is so high that it serves as a postmodern vessel for itself, and that just cements the “Google Feel,” that impression of minimalistic design using Google’s classic color palette and well-tested simple, functional menus. Google’s strong sense of aesthetics is just an outward emanation of its brilliant in-house practices.
Who’s the Boss? In a Word: Users
Google’s search engine results quality is, ultimately, determined by the level of satisfaction experienced by its users. In a very real way these users not only assess Google’s success as a company and a service provider, they help to shape its future. Parsing what the “world” as a whole wants is part of Google’s job, and determining what they mean when they type “happiness” is the kind of tech/existential question Google staff face on a day-to-day basis.
Engaging with users, staying up to date with their trends and practices. Google has proven that it’s not just good at these things: it’s brilliant. Teams of Google Engineers scrutinize data as minute in apparent import as what percentage of Google travelers select which numbered result on given results pages. One by one, troubled results are parsed out and rectified by professionals so dedicated to creating the perfect search engine that they literally never stop working. Google’s elite are always on task, always improving their service.
A big part of Google’s continued success is that no matter how big they get, they never fail to remember that at the end of the day they’re a service provider dependent on the approval and acclaim of their users.
Analyzing Google’s attention to detail, its innovative strategies, and its confident, hands-on approach to user relations is a great way to start thinking about what those things mean to your online business or presence. As a trailblazer, Google has covered serious ground and its history and current practices should be required reading for any aspiring internet mogul.