eWEEK at 30: Google Rises From Search Startup to Web Service Behemoth - Page 4

As Google follows through on some of its projects to provide Internet access to more people around the world through initiatives such as the floating balloon Internet trials, the company is working to expand the reach of its online ads to more users. If these initiatives are successful, it will only increase its ad revenues even more, he said.

"They have a lot of room to run to grow their core business," Strawn said. "So it's hard to see in a best-case scenario how the profits from a cloud business would compare to their core business of ad revenue. It's just not in the DNA."

Another IT analyst, Dan Maycock of OneAccord Digital, told eWEEK that ultimately Google has been changing the way IT works since it arrived on the scene in the early exhilarating days of the Internet's explosive growth.

"It's really not just the story of Google, but it's the story of data," Maycock said. "It's been a birth of data science and the fact that everyone now is talking about how they can use their data, how they can do reports and how they can do data analysis," he said. Google has done nothing less than bring "about the next Information Age," which means not just having information, but showing people how to use it, Maycock said.

For Google, it was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, Maycock said, compared to competitors who faltered and never reached the pinnacle of the company's success. "What they did—and other companies didn't do—is that they leveraged data to sell advertising," Maycock said. "Others had done it before, but not as well as they did."

One other important move for Google has been its willingness to take risks, Maycock said. "They haven't let the cost of doing something deter them from trying it," Maycock said. "From self-driving cars, to fiber optic Internet, they're not intimidated at large-scale endeavors."

They have gotten to this position because the company concentrated on business fundamentals. "They've focused on doing a couple things extremely well and kept both their customers and advertisers happy in the process. This has meant a growing cash flow, increased profitability and valuation and the ability to fund and succeed at other projects."

Another important factor is that Google succeeded in "creating a brand that attracts the best and brightest talent around, and built a process that puts information and engineering at the forefront of their business," he said. "This has given them a tremendous amount of talent, geared around breaking new ground and being the best at what they do."

By excelling in online ad revenue generation, Google has empowered itself "to shoot for the rest of their targets," Maycock said. "They will no doubt have struggles, though, like any publicly traded company, and only time will tell how successful they remain in the future. But for now they're doing pretty great and seem to be warding off a lot of the naysayers surrounding their business model."

But that doesn't mean that the company hasn't made mistakes or generated plenty of controversy for its business practices, some of which stem from complaints and allegations around the world about Google's use of private user data and antitrust challenges from competitors.