Google by the numbers: Amazing Google stats and facts

The search engine is the most common tool of internet usage after the browser itself, and we can’t imagine our internet lives without it — just like we can’t imagine our lives without the internet. It has become the core of web browsing as we know it, and it’s nested inside virtually every website. Search engines are also the backbone of modern marketing, and as you all know, there’s a whole field of expertise dedicated to researching them and discovering how to rank higher in their indexes. So it’s not surprising to witness the perfecting of specialty tools like PRT to track those ranks.

Search engines, and Google in particular, have grown so good at fetching us relevant search results that we’ve effectively outsourced our knowledge to search engines. There’s basically no need to remember anything in detail anymore, since it can quickly be looked up online. No longer do you need to lose that GMO argument because you didn’t have a way to prove your point via some obscure research that supports your claims. Also, not needing to remember things frees your mind for the really important stuff, such as aimless novelty seeking, ads and cute videos such as this one:

Google has been up and running for over two decades now. That’s a long time, and in that time Google has grown beyond all expectations, infiltrated every corner of internet life and accumulated some mind-blowing figures. To get a picture of just how huge Google is, let’s have a look at some of the mind-boggling numbers and awesome facts behind it.

  • How it all began – The small project that would become Google was started in 1996 by two Stanford students who may have just been looking to get their PhDs and pay off student loans, never dreaming about ruling the internet someday. But 22 years later, their combined net worth is USD $103.5 billion!
  • Google.com went online in 1997
  • Google was named BackRub at first, as wordplay on the way their invention analyzed the web’s “back links” to understand how important a website was.
  • Google was almost named Googol. The name “Google” originated from a misspelling of googol, which is the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes.
  • Google’s headquarters and main building complex is called “Googleplex”, a play on the word googolplex, a number equal to 1 followed by a googol of zeros.
  • PageRank is Google’s evolutionary, ever-evolving ranking algorithm that determines how to rank pages in the search index. It’s one of the reasons Google won the search engine war. Surprisingly enough, it’s named after Larry Page and not for its function of ranking web pages (which is just a bonus play on words).
  • Google Search has been blocked in China since 2010 because of a long history of disputes. But Google Maps and Google Translate made a humble comeback to China in 2018.
  • Yahoo! Search was once powered by Google. Long ago when Yahoo! was the top dog of the internet and Google was just a promising contender with a knockout-punch search algorithm. Yahoo! made a mistake of epic proportions that would be taught in business schools for generations to come. This mistake, among many others which led to its eventual defeat to Google, was signing a deal with Google and letting them power Yahoo! search for a while. For a brief period between 2000-2004, you would actually see “powered by Google” below the Yahoo! search bar. Users marveled at the sudden spike in the quality of search results and Google was the root. Eventually, Yahoo! realized their mistake and dropped Google in favor of their own search algorithm, but it was too late. The partnership drove traffic away from Yahoo! and straight into Google’s hands during that time period. Not too long after that, Yahoo! would fall to become a distant runner up, and Google became the most advanced and popular search engine.
  • Today’s Google search market share stands at 91.63% and Yahoo!’s only at 1.94%.
  • Yahoo! could have bought Google for 1 million dollars in 1998, long before the whole “powered by Google” mishap. Page and Brin approached Yahoo! with an offer to sell their PageRank tech, but Yahoo! didn’t see the potential and preferred to focus on its own search technology. That proved to be a poor decision, since today Google’s (as Alphabet) market value is estimated to be more than $581 billion USD and is home to more than 88,100 employees, together earning more than Haiti’s total GDP.
  • In 2017, Google’s revenue amounted to 109.65 billion US dollars, and 87% of that came from ad revenue.
  • Google Street View now covers 184 countries around the world.

    Progression of Google Street View 2007-2017

  • Have you ever wondered what the Mount Everest Base Camp looks like? Lucky for you, Google Street View got there, so you can check it out in case you don’t have time to go there yourself. They also hired a camel in order to photograph the desert, so you can warm up after that chilling Mt. Everest visit!
  • Google has become so ingrained in our lives that its name became a synonym for searching the internet. If we want to know the best brownie recipe, we no longer ‘search’ for it, we google it. To google is, in fact, an official verb of the English language — it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary on June 15, 2006, and to the eleventh edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in July 2006.
  • http://elgoog.im is a mirrored version of Google.
  • You can set your Google UI to be in Klingon.
  • Search rates for “forgot password” are 60% higher than average between 2 and 3 a.m. Nighttime seems to fog people’s memories.
  • When a Google employee dies, their spouse receives half their pay for 10 years, and their children receive USD $1,000 monthly until they turn 19.
  • If (by some chance) you used a time machine to bring back someone from the 1980s, the concept of Google would probably be harder to handle than flying cars… and to someone from the 19th century, it would seem like a godly artifact. How would you even begin to explain it? Imagine: “So, we have this thing where we can ask it just about anything and we’ll receive an answer in less than 5 seconds. We can access it through a glowing little rectangle in our pocket.”
  • The first Google Doodle was created on August 30, 1998:

    A Burning Man stick figure to hint that Larry Page and Sergey Brin were at that time attending the Burning Man festival

     

  • There have been more than 2,000 unique Google Doodles created by artists around the world.
  • Google believes GPAs and test scores are useless as criteria for hiring, and they practice what they preach: 14% of their employees haven’t gone to college
  • On August 16, 2013, Google went down for 5 minutes. During that brief period, 40% of all Internet traffic stopped.
  • Google loves its corporate-sized shopping sprees. Since 2010, Google’s acquired at least 1 company per week. As of December 2016, Alphabet had acquired over 200 companies, including the largest purchase to date, Motorola Mobility, for $12.5 billion. However, like many shopping sprees, there is occasional buyers remorse — Motorola was later sold to Lenovo for only $2.9 billion.
  • Google handles about 15 exabytes of data, according to some estimates. That’s 15 billion gigabytes, basically more than 30 million household HDDs.

    Now imagine this guy approaches you in a shady bar. “Well well well boys” he says menacingly as he puffs cigar smoke in your face “Looks like we got an SEO expert over here! Hey big shot SEO expert, tell me” proceeding to poke your chest with an insolent finger “How much data does Google handle, huh? I betcha don’t know the answer!” Needless to say, you will have the answer embarrassing him on the spot and impressing everyone at the bar. We can only assume he will then immediately hire you to be his SEO expert and promote his supplements shopify website.

     

  • Google SEO was much easier once. Before Google’s algorithms developed into what they are today, they were easy to manipulate. Inserting a few profitable keywords in the meta tags of the page and filling the content with those keywords was sometimes enough to rank high. And because there was no differentiation regarding where the search was made from, there was a single universal rank, and your site would be ranked high no matter who searched Google or from where. The first SEO experts to recognize it made easy money, and lots of it. Nowadays, of course, the search results you get are determined by a website’s authority, are super personalized, and are far superior in quality and relevance. The SERP you see is influenced by factors such as your exact location, the platform you’re using (mobile or desktop), the mobile device type you’re using (Apple, Android or Windows), your search history, the UI language you use, and others. This is exactly why you must have a SERP tracker that can show you an actual unbiased rank based on these factors:
    The most accurate way to SERP track in 2018
  • The famous ‘don’t be evil’ mantra is no longer a part of Google’s code of conduct. It was dropped following the formation of Alphabet, the massive conglomerate that includes all the businesses under the Google umbrella (such as YouTube and DeepMind).

    Ah, the innocent nineties, when we still used to remember things and flying cars were all the rage of the future and none of those scary AI nightmare scenarios.

  • Google handles more than 65,000 search queries a SECOND! That’s 3.9 million a minute, 234 million an hour, 5.6 billion a day, and more than 2 TRILLION a year.
  • 16% of that figure is new search terms never seen before. That means that about 896 million unique keywords are searched for every day! How many of those are emerging new trends that a wise SEO expert can bank on? Each and every one of those keywords could be the next ‘fidget spinner’-related long tail.
  • About half of all searches are four words or more, emphasizing the importance of having high-quality long-tail keywords. A highly targeted long-tail keyword is usually easier to rank than a single-word keyword, and a low-search-volume long tail could potentially draw more high-quality traffic than a popular short-tail keyword.
Coming up with the right keywords for a niche isn’t always easy, which is why we include our Keyword Suggestion Tool free with PRT to help you come up with some great long tails for your websites. The algorithm behind the tool is designed to come up with truly valuable keywords, unlike the regular tools on the market. Check out our article on how you can use our tool to significantly boost your SEO keyword game:
The Keyword Suggestion Tool – The ideal tool for SEO beginners and experts alike
  • The most searched term on Google is ‘facebook’ with a monthly search volume of 2520000000.
  • Google stopped showing precise search volumes to regular users in 2016. The search volume of the term facebook was obtained using PRT’s rank tracker, which shows search volume along with the most accurate and updated rank:
  • Try searching ‘askew’ in Google.
  • After that, try searching ‘Atari Breakout’ in Google images.
  • Not only is Google the biggest search engine, it’s also the most visited website on the planet with 44.2 billion unique monthly sessions. And that’s just for Google.com, not including the 187 unique local Google sites. Google.co.in, for example, gets a whopping 5.2 billion monthly visitors.
Important note – Following a recent Google update, searching a local Google will no longer give you search results from that respective country. All the search results you get will be adapted to where you are physically searching from, regardless of what Google ccTDL you use! This move by Google further solidifies geotargeted personalized results. You can read more about exactly what it means for rank tracking here:
Why Google’s latest change is another nail in the coffin for manual rank checking
  • More than half of Google searches are done through mobile devices! Mobile is winning over desktop on the internet all across the board as shown in our internet stats article:
    Mind-Blowing Internet Stats and Fun Facts, 2018
    This is an especially important fact to note in regards to SEO and Google rank tracking, as Google personalizes search results differently for mobile users. A webpage can rank differently on mobile search results than for desktop search results. Major influencing factors include pin-point GPS targeting and how mobile friendly a website is. Over the passing years, Google has dropped several major updates that differentiated desktop from mobile ranks. Their latest major announcement was the mobile-first approach, favoring mobile-friendly websites and making tracking your mobile ranks a must:
    Why knowing your mobile ranks is now more important than ever before! (+ 5 tips on improving mobile visibility)
    The mobile trend will only increase as more and more people all over the world get affordable smartphones with internet access. Never forget about your mobile ranks!
  • Google is updating ALL THE TIME. You might only hear about the major algorithm updates that hit us, but Google is constantly making small changes that are just too small and go unreported. These small changes are what contribute to some SERP trackers showing the wrong ranks to their users. Having fast and reliable response mechanisms is what determines a SERP tracker’s accuracy. PRT has developed virtually instant response mechanisms, making it the most accurate SERP tracker currently on the market with 100% accuracy rates. Read more about how rank-tracking accuracy is achieved and what some SERP trackers might not want you to know:
    Why are some SERP trackers more precise than others?

Google is more than just a search engine, as you know, and no stats list about Google would be complete without mentioning a few about the supplemental services it offers under the same user profile:

  • Email is still a very lucrative field that’s still growing, with 281 billion emails being sent each day! Google’s email service, Gmail, has more than 2 billion users, taking an impressive 20% chunk of the huge email pie.
  • Google+, Google’s failed attempt at a social network, never established itself and is far behind many of its competitors. Yet, it somehow still has more than 110 million users!
  • Google Chrome, while considered by many as the most vulnerable internet browser, is leading the charts and has a market share of 59.9%. It’s reported to have had more than 2 billion installs.
  • Google Drive has more than 800 million users
  • Google announced that it has over 2 billion monthly active devices on Android.
  • YouTube has more than 1.5 billion users logged in monthly and according to Alexa is currently fighting Facebook tooth and nail to stay the second-most-visited website in the world.
YT has many other remarkably cool stats, which we will cover in a separate post. For now, you can read about how to easily track YouTube ranks with PRT:
How to easily track your YouTube ranks with 100% accuracy using PRT
  • In 2000, Google’s search index reached 1 billion indexed web pages and became the biggest search engine in the world.
  • Today Google’s search index consists over 130 TRILLION webpages. If you printed those pages on typical A4 paper that is 0.05mm thick, you could stack those papers to reach the moon 17 times! (This is ten times the entire yearly consumption of paper in the US.) The most amazing part is this number is relevant to when Google last revealed this figure in November 2016. Apparently, it’s no longer part of their marketing scheme to swagger at having the biggest in the game. Everyone knows by now they have the biggest, so there’s more value in secrecy. No one truly knows the real size of their search index. We can only assume it has since grown to include a few tens of trillions more pages.
  • Google’s spiders crawl new and existing websites for updates and constantly rebuild the search index to suit the changes. Some websites get crawled only once every few weeks or days, while popular webpages that change content frequently, such as news outlets or authority websites, might get crawled as often as every few seconds! Static websites that don’t add any new content will get crawled very rarely. As a rule of thumb, the bigger, more popular and more frequently updated your website is, the more frequently it will get crawled.
    If you are running an active SEO campaign and adding fresh content, you will eventually get crawled often, at which point it’s crucial to have a SERP tracker that will get you your updated ranks at least once a day:
    SEO’s life monitor: Why you absolutely must know about your SERP tracker’s rank update frequency
    It’s only reasonable to assume that as Google’s spiders become more advanced, the frequency of web crawls will increase overall, even for unpopular websites.
There is an amazing Google SEO secret that many SEO experts are not aware of. As a result of Google’s constant search index updates, your website might get ranked on keywords you didn’t even promote directly. This is the hidden ranks effect. If leveraged correctly, this gem can yield a massive boost to you in organic SEO results. To find out how to discover those hidden ranks and use them to your advantage, check out our special post:
5 amazing things you can do with PRT’s Ranking Discovery tool

So there you have it. Did those numbers sound amazing? Because here’s the bombshell we need to drop before we close this article: search engines can only access 0.03% of all data that’s on the internet! the rest is known as the deep web. What lurks in those uncharted waters? Now that’s for another article. For better or for worse, Google is here to stay, and with it remain top-notch SEO skills and the need for rank tracking.


Google might work in mysterious ways, but PRT is here to demystify them. Join PRT today, and get access to such groundbreaking SEO tools as Ranking Discovery (to discover hidden keywords), the Keyword Suggestion tool (which suggests real keywords, not arbitrary words), and to enjoy 100% accuracy, thanks to our hyper-fast response mechanisms. Last but not least, see the much-needed search volume behind the keywords you promote. And best of all, you can take us for a spin with our awesome FREE PLAN.

Know of any SEO professionals that would love to get an edge in the search engine game with PRT’s SEO-centric approach to SERP tracking? Well, we can all benefit together if you refer your friend through our amazing affiliate program that pays like no other on the market! (20% lifetime commission).

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