eWEEK at 30: Google's Wealth Brings Diversification, Public Scrutiny
eWEEK 30: Search and advertising bring Google enormous wealth along with the freedom to pursue diverse ventures. But it's facing greater government scrutiny and some public resentment of its wealth.When it began operating in 1998 from a garage in Menlo Park, Calif., Google was a pure-play Internet search company with a starkly simple home page and a revolutionary plan to improve Web search using its own special algorithms. Fifteen years later, search is still the crown jewel of Google's business, but the company used search as the springboard to become a highly diversified global company that dominates the Web with search-driven online advertising, cloud applications as well as myriad other tangential ventures that it can afford to pursue due to its wealth and influence. So what made Google so successful just 15 years after its founding when other, more established companies had similar chances to achieve market leadership? For its 30th anniversary feature series, eWEEK asked four IT industry analysts for their insights into Google's past, present and future. Though it began as a search provider like many other companies, even serving as Yahoo's search engine for a time, Google did something early that its competitors didn't think to do—it soon tied search into a well-oiled advertising revenue machine—and it's never looked back, said Rob Enderle, principal analyst for Enderle Group.
"What has made Google so different from other companies over the last 15 years is that Google has a near-monopoly on advertising revenue compared to competitors," he said. "It's an area that none of the other technology companies began to understand" until it was too late. "Microsoft looked at it initially and said there was no money in that. That came back to haunt them."