How many search engines are there today? If your instinctive response was “one”, you were wrong – but not very far from the truth either. Google is the undisputed leader in the online search world, with a more than 70% market share, followed by “rivals” like Baidu (a bit over 13%), Microsoft’s Bing (almost 8%), Yahoo (almost 5%), and several others that don’t reach the 1% mark.
Google is not the only search engine out there but it’s the only one that matters, it seems, with smart and powerful algorithms behind the search results page serving billions of users with results quickly and easily. But what is the thing that sets it apart from the rest? Let’s take a look below.
Google is called a “search giant” for a reason: it has the highest number of users of all search engines – and it has been a market leader for years. According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every single second, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches each day.
Google may have started out as just another spider – a piece of software, also known as a “crawler”, that systematically browses the web to create an index of data – basically a massive database – but it has become so much more than that over the years. Instead of simply collecting information and serving it to the user unfiltered, Google has devices a way to rank the websites it crawls based on a variety of factors, ranging from the age of the website to the number of other websites linking to them.
Back in the early days of the internet, finding one’s way around it was easy – the number of websites was very small. Today, in turn, the number of active websites has exceeded 1.2 billion (and counting), making it nearly impossible to find what one’s looking for without a tool like a search engine.
With Great Power…
For most, googling things is natural today. After all, Google has the biggest database, the best (?) ranking system, and can serve the most results to anyone using it. But with great power, they say, comes great responsibility – that of keeping the results clean, unbiased, and completely impartial. Google is known to make the best effort to keep its search results clean, relevant, and impartial, but it has no way of preventing third parties from figuring out how its algorithms work and taking advantage of their knowledge.
While most SEO specialists are ethical in their use of their knowledge, there are many who use unethical techniques to lure visitors to their websites for financial gain. These so-called “black-hats” are tainting the search results, and while Google does its best to keep them from tainting its search results, sneaking irrelevant results between legitimate ones.
To keep its search results clean and unbiased, Google is constantly updating its algorithms, providing its users with the best and most relevant results at any time.