Google's strategy to "double down" on its core search business helped the company clean up as the top search property with 87.8 billion searches in December 2009, or 66.8 percent of the more than 131 billion searches conducted worldwide.
That's good for a 58 percent increase in search query volume over the past year, according to figures released Jan. 22 by researcher comScore. These world-leading totals helped Google rake in a fourth quarter 2009 profit of $1.97 billion and sales of $4.95 billion.
Google hopes to improve on these numbers through focusing on a convergence of mobile search, advertising and applications, including location-based technologies with a heavy dose of social networking.
Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice president of product management at Google, attributed Google's successful Q4 to the company's doubling down on its efforts in search, AdWords search advertising and display advertising.
"Search did particularly well in 2009 and I think that may be the best example of what we feel we can do when we double down and focus," Rosenberg said on the company's Q4 earnings call Jan. 21. He cited Google's 550 search quality enhancements; a bigger and faster index; universal search expansion; and Google's new music search service.
However, Google's crowning search achievement arrived Dec. 7 in the form of real-time. Google indexes tweets from Twitter and public status updates from Facebook, as well as info from MySpace, news publications and blogs only seconds after the content is published online.
Rosenberg noted that two minutes after a force 4.1 earthquake struck California two weeks ago, Google's real-time search algorithms surfaced local Twitter tweets and news reports. The idea is that retrieving this type of content will keep users coming to Google.
It's difficult to gauge the financial impact of these real-time results, but Google CEO Eric Schmidt said on the call real-time search was "very successful."