Whether you’re looking for the best search engine for research or simply checking the weather forecast in your area, it’s a widely held belief that there are few (if any) search engines better than Google.
From the first time it appeared to the public, Google has had its grip on internet users worldwide. After reading this blog, you’ll understand why Google is the best search engine as well as how your business can leverage its many benefits.
When Did Google Come Out?
In 1996, two graduate students attending Stanford University wondered if there was a new (and better) way to search the World Wide Web. Together, they decided the answer was yes.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page would go on to invent one of the most popular search engines in the world. Working out of their dorm room, they created “Backrub”, a project that used backlinks to determine the importance of individual pages on the internet.
By the time 1998 came around, Brin and Page founded Google. The name change was meant to play off the mathematical expression for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. They believed this name reflected their mission of organizing the world’s information in a way that was accessible and useful to everyone, everywhere.
What began as a small online search firm would turn into a search engine with more than 50 internet services and products that can be used by businesses, developers, and anyone else looking for information.
Why is Google so Popular?
It’s a familiar phrase to hear someone say or even think to yourself. For years, Google has been the go-to search engine for internet users across the globe.
In 2022, studies showed that Google was visited 89.3 billion times a month, making it the most visited website by a landslide. To this day, Google has a market share of over 93%, which causes people to wonder – why is Google the best search engine?
While other search engines have continued to grow and become more efficient in many ways, Google remains the majority’s choice. As simple as it is to tell someone to “Google it”, the process behind the scenes is far more complex.
Search Engine Algorithms
One of Google’s central claims to fame can be attributed to its search engine algorithm. These algorithms make the user’s experience a top priority.
Search engines collect formulas that will help them determine the quality and relevance of a particular ad or web page. A large result of Google’s popularity came from their creation of complex algorithms which improve an individual’s search process.
Google has reported that its algorithm changes hundreds of times a year, making its results more timely and accurate than any other search engine. In addition, Google uses more than 200 ranking factors when determining which results to show to a viewer and in what order.
The precision of a search engine algorithm works to ensure that users are getting the information that they need immediately, rather than having to scroll through pages of search results.
Search Engine Features
Another substantial reason why Google is the best search engine is its various features. Search engine features are the additional elements an individual will see on the result page.
Search engine features don’t only make the user’s experience better, they can also be beneficial to the business or website. In order for businesses to get their site content to appear in search results, they should follow a few key practices:
Also known as SERP features, Google offers an assortment of characteristics that provide the user with a more efficient and comprehensive search experience.
Whenever a search happens that triggers ads to show on the page, it’s using the Google ads feature. Depending on the search or query entered, different types of ads will be displayed.
- Top-of-result and/or bottom-of-result ads usually appear for services, such as flights or hotels.
- Shopping ads usually appear for physical products, such as electronics or appliances.
Usually appearing on the right side of the page, local features will appear when a user is searching for something near them. It will include information about specific local businesses such as contact information, hours of operation, reviews, and more.
When a user is searching for a specific product, they will most likely see a handful of reviews. This Google feature highlights the pros and cons of a variety of products based on other users’ reviews.
This 2-part feature is displayed when a user is searching for information on a specific, but well-known topic. There are 2 different elements that can show up:
- Knowledge graph- appears on the top of the page and displays information in an interactive chart.
- Knowledge panel- appears on the right side of the page and displays information in a text-based format.
Displayed in a box with a singular result, the featured snippet is most often seen at the top of the search page. It will include a condensed description of the page but is formatted differently than the other basic results. These typically appear for searches that have a definitive answer.
When Google identifies the intent of a search to be visual-based, it will use the image pack feature. This appears when a user wants to know what something looks like, displaying a gallery of images related to the search.
These don’t always appear at the top of the page. They will be placed in different areas based on the type of search, as well as how often users are looking for images of a specific keyword.
When a user searches for a specific website, they will often see additional links appear underneath the main content link. These links often include information like the contact page, services page, or other popular pages on a website.
Similar to an FAQ portion on a website, the People Also Ask feature appears for searches that often cause users to continue to search for information related to similar topics. It will show up as a user is typing their query and provide a list of commonly searched questions.
If a company optimizes the recipes on their page, they have the opportunity to appear in the recipe card feature. When a user searches for something regarding cooking, baking, or any type of directions related to food and drink, a recipe card will appear at the top of the search page.
Typically used for job listings or open positions, these job cards will appear for a user who searches for work opportunities. Google will display a list of jobs related to companies and businesses near the user’s location.
Both location and time-based, the events feature is displayed when a user searches for events or attractions happening in a certain city or town. The results will show dates, times, and other details of upcoming events.
The top stories feature appears for searches related to current events and news. This feature is especially helpful when it comes to stories that are happening faster than basic search results can keep up with. Google tends to favor established and credible sources as well, so the user is getting the correct information.
Similar to the image pack, this feature will display a carousel of videos pertaining to what a user searched for. This typically occurs if someone is trying to learn, listen, or watch something rather than read about it in an article.
Google’s most recent feature, Bard, is an experimental AI service. Powered by the Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), this new addition allows individuals to search topics in a casual, conversational way. Bard will reply to messages quickly, with the most up-to-date information from the web.
Search Engine Trends
When weighing search engine pros and cons, it’s important to mention Google Trends. These trends are search terms that are popular on Google. Businesses can benefit from search engine trends for a variety of reasons, including:
- Businesses can research popular topics and see how they are currently or will be trending in the future. This allows them the opportunity to create content that will drive traffic to their site.
- Businesses are able to watch the pattern of trends which gives them the advantage of knowing when to expect certain volume drops.
- Businesses can also use trend patterns to anticipate and leverage a surge in specific search activities.
Google offers both basic and advanced trends, which vary depending on the precision of the data and analytics shown.
Closing Thoughts: Why Google is the Best Search Engine
While Google has successfully mastered many unique characteristics to make its search engine the most popular, it hasn’t forgotten about the basics.
At the end of the day, a reliable and efficient search engine has 3 things:
- Speed. As of 2023, Google processes an average of more than 100,000 search queries per second. In addition, according to tests run in 2022, overall Google Chrome is the fastest search browser in the world when returning results.
- Significance. Google is known to crawl more web pages than any other competitor, leading them to gather a more relevant set of results. Its search index contains hundreds of billions of web pages and is over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size.
- Simplicity. Throughout the years, Google has kept a single-minded focus on its goals: search and the user experience. Through building A/B testing frameworks to investing in data center technology, Google has managed to keep its site clear, concise, and convenient.
Interested in improving your site’s rank in Google SERPs? Our SEO specialists know everything when it comes to optimizing websites. Contact our team to learn more today!
This blog was originally published on June 15, 2020, and updated on July 18, 2023.