Category:  Media Industry

Ode to Google

This week YAHOO! announced it would be cutting 15% of its workforce. Such a dramatic announcement has lead to a flurry of rumors and speculation surrounding the future of YAHOO!.

YAHOO’s peak was around 2007, yet even at peak performance it was never able to top Google’s continuous star power. Google dominates the search engine market, leaving scraps for everyone else. The remaining 20% of the market that is not controlled by Google is divided among Bing, Yahoo, and Ask for business. Even Bing’s large partnership with Microsoft shows no sign of invading Google’s empire anytime soon.

Everyone takes search engines for granted. Not much thought is put into Googling, whether it’s searching for “is plastic microwavable?” or searching for the closest Chick-Fil-A. Parents are never slow to remind millennials how lost they would be without the resources such as search engines that we are graced with in the twenty-first century. Previously, to complete book reports it would have required countless hours in the library skimming through scores of resources and materials. Search engines have granted us the ability to simply type in a few short words and within seconds an entire literary summary is in front of us, cutting hours that would have been spent reading a book.

But how does Google do it? How does it give us such a vast amount of information so quickly and precisely? While everything has probably let you down at some point in your life, the only time Google could ever fail you is if there is not an adequate WIFI connection. To bring us the answers we are all searching for, Google first crawls through data banks located all over the world. Each web page and picture has a specific code and link that allow them to be stored for easy access. Once it has acquired the pages that fits your search entry, machines rank them according to relevance and popularity. Their relevance is decided by how many times the words searched for appear in the link; their popularity is computed mathematically by engines designed with special algorithms.

The most popular Google searches from the United States in 2015 were the Greek debt crisis, the newest Star Wars movie, and Lamar Odom. You can learn a lot from popular Google searches. Every month Google releases the most popular searches by state. Marketing or public relations companies can utilize this to their advantage in targeting their advertising specifically to certain demographics.

It is no secret that the North is very different from the South in the United States, and everyone’s Google searches reflect this. In the New England area the most common Google searches recently were Amy Schumer, Charlie Sheen HIV, and Pope Francis. In the Southern states near Georgia and the Carolinas the most popular Google searches were concealed weapons permits, N.R.A., and ISIS.

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