Is Google a Search Company?

    May 4, 2011
    Chris Crum

Is Google a search company? Before you answer, take a moment to remember that they have self-driving cars and giant robot spiders (ok, I think they were just renting those).

Obviously search is still integral to Google’s existence, and a very big part of what the company is known for. Google certainly still commands the majority of web searches, though Bing is doing everything it can to try and catch up.

Google also has many other products outside of the search realm that it continues to place a great deal of focus on (though search is usually related to these in one way or another. Think Google Apps. Android. Chrome. They’re even going outside the norm of non-TV advertising (other than that famous Super Bowl Spot in 2010), and unleashing new Chrome ads during prime time. Not search. A web browser.

According to a report from TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, “search” has even been eliminated as a product group internally, since co-founder Larry Page took the CEO reins. The group is now called the “knowledge group.”

“Google confirms the change,” writes Arrington. And, they point out, it was actually publicly announced in an SEC filing made on April 11. Nobody seems to have noticed that someone was named the SVP of a Google product group that previously hadn’t existed.”

For many people, Google is simply about search. If they want to search for something, they “Google it”. Google has always stated its goal clearly though. Let’s look at the classic mission statement:

Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Search was Google’s starting point, and has proven to be a good one, but it is not the entire end game. As time goes by, old technologies and platforms evolve, and new technologies and platforms emerge and are acquired, it becomes clearer that organizing the world’s information is about much more than just search, though search remains a very important part of it.

Google has greatly emphasized the importance of mobile to its corporate strategy in recent months. Mobile in fact opens doors that were simply closed before the advancements in smartphones and tablets. Location is obviously one of those doors, and that’s where a great deal of the company’s focus is these days (only one of many – it’s a pretty big company, obviously).

The whole thing adds another interesting angle to the Google vs. Bing debate. How much of Google’s time and resources will be dedicated to enhancing its flagship search engine by the time Bing catches up (if it does) in market share, in comparison to other related, but different technologies Google is focusing on? Microsoft gets to play catch up in smartphones/tablets too.

Do you consider Google a search company? Let us know in the comments.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.