Ten years ago, a small Mountain View, California company rolled out a plain search box and a new computer algorithm to help people find information. In the month of January 2007, more than 3.9 billion searches were performed on Google, which held a commanding 72 percent of the global search market, according to Nielsen//NetRatings and Enquisite Software.
In addition, more than 255 million people worldwide used a search engine—81 percent of the global Internet population—and the audience for search grew more than 10 percent, outpacing the growth of the Internet itself.
Clearly, it’s fair to say that Google, along with a host of other Internet search engines, have fundamentally changed the relationship between humanity and knowledge, says John Battelle, entrepreneur, journalist, professor and author of The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture. “Search is the new interface to knowledge,” he says. “All of a sudden, the world is quite literally at your feet—or rather your fingertips.”
So powerful is Google’s impact that in 2006, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary added the verb “google” to their hardbound editions. The company also was named one of the top global brands by Business Week and brandchannel.com. To an army of information seekers, Google means search.
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