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Google, The Information Hub

2013-02-24


In the ever-progressing world of technology that defines modern developed culture, every advancement in information and communications technology does not and cannot exist in isolation. Each advancement builds from what preceded it, and, if helpful and successful, the advancement continues to develop and in turn influence other advancements. When one thinks of the major forms of communication technology that are staples to modern culture, most of these advancements are not as new as they may seem. Technology such as cellular phones, the internet, digital television, web camera hardware and software, and even social networking have all been around for quite a few years. But since their development, none of these have been as advanced or as widely used as they are today. One such advancement‚??search engines‚??is nothing particularly new. However, the strides made by search engine companies and technology have been astounding in the last ten years. Google exemplifies this idea. While Google has been around since the mid to late 1990s, Google‚??s initial public stock offering (IPO) was August 2004, making it, in essence, IT of the people through stocks‚??a stepping stone for corporate scale communications tech. While not a traditional advancement, Google becoming a major corporation was a milestone for an undisputable symbol of information technology and communication progress‚??a step to fuel the future (and recent past) of the industry, not necessarily through technology birth, but through a rebirth of the technologic banner that presides over the technology Google has created and advanced.

The importance of the growth of Google is multifaceted. On the most basic level, the Google search engine, as one of, if not the, most popular and efficient search engines, is a hub for information availability and access‚??a hub for discovery and transfer of information. In fact, Google‚??s mission is to ‚??organize the world‚??s information and make it universally accessible and useful.‚?Ě But Google has grown, especially over the last ten years, into much more than a search engine. It has become a banner over a plethora of useful subsections of Google. For example, Google Scholar, a subset of Google search that searches for scholarly journal articles, is a useful information tool for college students or anyone conducting research in any scholarly field. Google‚??s Gmail is a very commonly used email tool, and Google Chrome is becoming an increasingly popular web browsing program; Google Maps, as well, is both extremely popular and very practical (not to mention Google Earth, an unparalleled program to view the real globe as it actually looks). Even YouTube, a huge internet entity in itself and an archive of videos for information, entertainment, news, music, sports, and videoblogging (many of which are sponsored by paid advertisements), is a subsidiary of Google.

In addition to what Google has done itself, its importance is just as prevalent in its impact outside of itself. It is not hard to trace the places that Google has played a role, if only a push. For example, because of how colossal Google is, competitors such as Yahoo and Bing must work hard to compete. Just as Google revolutionized the way that search engines operate by using more information that simply the number of occurrences of search items on a web page, Bing responded through finding new ways to attempt to advance the search engine industry through launching the marketing campaign describing the engine as ‚??the first decision engine.‚?Ě But even with the rising popularity of engines such as Bing, Google still remains on top as the central force fueling competitive evolution of both search engines and the other applications, programs, and services Google provides and is involved in. As an example of the way Google continues to develop the technology and usefulness of search engines, the engine has recently added the feature of the ‚??+1 button‚?Ě which allows users to vote up websites so that search engines are no longer simply computer programming finding sites for you; this new feature makes search engines much more personal.

All starting with the development of the Google search engine, the impact of the present-day Google entity extends far past just IT and the internet. To give an idea of Google‚??s impact in information technology at what it does best, here are some statistics (as reported by Google‚??s corporate history report): Google Chrome has more than 120 million users; the Google eBookstore has more than 3 million books; the website is available at 171 local domains and in 146 different languages. But few entities in this industry can proclaim to be so important that they impact the world in as great ways outside of the industry as well. Google‚??s importance is massive within and beyond technology, making its advancements transcend simple linear development. For example, Google has donated hundreds of dollars toward a variety of programs such as economy stimulation money and donations to museums. Google also organizes a program called GoogleServe that recruits and facilitates volunteers around the world in community service projects.

With the way that present-day technology is so interdependent on its different forms, it is always difficult to choose which advancements are more important than others, especially since technology boundaries are being blurred as advancements and trends in one field often carry into others. But even with the blurring and multiple advancements, some names are definite important players in the industry. With the internet being as vital and useful as it is, an entity that allows a fuller and more efficient access of it is invaluable. That is exactly what Google is. But just as importantly, the establishment of Google as a corporation with shareholders has pushed it to forefront of both communication and economic value. It is not just an advancement in information technology, but instead an advancement that has improved both information and communications technology and the world.