Unless you've been living under a pretty gigantic rock, you're likely aware of, or utilize Google and its numerous tools. While Google has branched out over the years, the tech giant is still known throughout the world as the top dog of search engines. Google is so synonymous with searching the internet that it was added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in July of 2006 as a transitive verb. We can agree that Google holds a prominent position in our lives, but exactly how prominent?
Google is skilled at finding the answers to things, so long as those answers can be found. Google why the ocean's blue, or the best place to get tom ka gai near you, and Google will provide the answer. But how many answers does it find, every minute, every second? To answer this question we of course had to google it. Surprisingly the answer isn't that clear.
Internet Live Stats offers interesting visualizations for the volume of google searches per second. Each search is represented by a little green "g" and the page becomes instantly filled with them. A numerical counter at the top rolls on quicker than the eye can follow. As of May 5th, 2018, the data counter showed just over 80,000 searches in the one second since the counter page was opened.
For reasons that aren't quite clear, Google seems to not be interested in sharing their statistical data with the public. As of 2012, Google noted that they are processing over 1.1 trillion searches per year, or 3 billion queries per day — an estimated total of 40,000 searches per second. Even though mobile usage continued to grow and bring more traffic to Google, they cited the same data for the next three years as confirmed by tech website Search Engine Land. However if we do a bit of our own math using the estimated figure we received above, that's more than 2 trillion searches per year.
Google's search engine is such a huge part of our lives that when it went down briefly in 2013, internet traffic dropped by 40%. It's so integral to our lives we might be tempted to think we don't use it all that much. What was the last thing you searched for? How might people react if they saw your searches? If you're curious you can go to google.com/history to view your account's activity. You might be surprised by what you find.
Taking a closer look at what we search as a whole offers a lot of valuable information to corporations, advertisers and marketing executives. According to BBC Google made nearly 90% of its $75 billion revenue in 2015 from advertising. This shows that aside from Google's myriad products, search is still the way they bring home the bacon. Viewing Google's search trends can enable businesses to tailor products or SEO to solve common problems in their locale, or talk about things that interest their clients. At the close of every year, Google puts together an eye opening, and often moving, look at what was on our minds and hearts throughout the year. A Year In Search continues to demonstrate just how much searching is a part of our lives.
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