How Google became the most used search engine in the world

Google Searchor Google search, is by far the most used search engine in the world. The idea was born in 1996 from a research project developed by Larry Page And Sergey Brin, two doctoral students at Stanford University in California. Over time it has become the default search engine on the vast majority of web browser. But what are the characteristics of Google Search that have contributed to making it the search engine par excellence?

To understand how Google Search became the most used search engine in the world we must go back to late 90s. The World Wide Web in those years was very different from what we are used to today: there were only a few million users worldwide and websites were in fact collections of textual documents and the web pages are interconnected with each other by hypertext links.

Google's main innovation: the PageRank algorithm

Search engines before Google followed a simple principle to sort the results: the more times a page contained the keywords searched by the user, especially his ranking was considered high. Page And Brin therefore worked on the development of a more complex ranking algorithm, PageRank, that took into consideration not only the presence and abundance of keywords, but also other factors such asauthorityL'reliability and the relevance of a web page. This made it possible to help the user with his search, who was served sites with a higher reputation and consequently, generally, with more accurate and relevant content compared to the search carried out. This feature allowed PageRank to stand out from any other ranking algorithm, giving the future search engine an incalculable advantage over the competition. The algorithm, which has obviously undergone countless changes and improvements over the years, is still the same today landmark of online sorting and search algorithms.

After realizing the potential of the algorithm, Page and Brin dedicated themselves entirely to the development of the search engine. In 1996 the first version of Google was released and the domain was registered the following year Google. com (which still today is the most visited in the world). Subsequently, the company was founded in 1998 Google LLC which will come later quoted at the stock exchange In the 2004 reaching a total value of approximately 27 billion dollars. In few years Google Search has established itself as the main search engine available on the market and, still today, its use almost 90% of global users.

Search engine usage rate over time. Source: statcounter

Using the search engine Google it is so widespread that it justifies the creation of a word that is entered the common vocabulary, in fact, today we often hear the term used “google” as a synonym for “doing a search on the web”, this word has in fact entered the neologisms of vocabulary Treccani since 2008.

What was the “I feel lucky” button for?

Years ago, the Google home page showed, in addition to the search bar, two buttons: one for the actual search and the “I'm feeling lucky”. This button took the user directly to the web page that would be in the first position among the search results. The introduction of this key demonstrates the confidence of Page And Brin in whether their algorithm was able to return the most relevant results to the user.