Just How Dependent Is the World on Google?

The tech giant suffered another bout of outages this morning.

ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Multiple Google services went down in the morning of Friday, September 25, in different parts of the globe; a record second time the tech giant suffered outages in 2020. Google Meet, Drive, Docs, Analytics, Classroom, Calendar, and even YouTube were among the services disrupted—as reported by people freaking out over on Twitter. Google itself is yet to react to the issue even as most of the services return, according to TechCrunch

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The outages were felt in Australia, the U.S., and east Asia, reports Gizmodo. Earlier in August 2020, Google services also went down affecting mainly areas in Asia and Australia. Both instances were met with mild panic on Twitter mostly by people who depend on Google to get their daily tasks done—in other words, pretty much everybody

Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Google Inc.'s first office, a garage in suburban Menlo Park, California.
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Google has come a long way from being a simple search engine built by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a Stanford University dorm room in the '90s. The company itself first came to fruition in 1998 thanks to a U.S. $100,000 check from Silicon Valley investors and has now grown to a multitude of services used by people across the globe: from e-mail to virtual meets to video streaming and more. Which leads us to ask, just how dependent are we on Google's services? 

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How big is the Google search engine?

Statistic: Worldwide desktop market share of leading search engines from January 2010 to July 2020 | Statista
Source: Statista

First things first, we bring it back to the original purpose. In case you've forgotten, Google isn't the only search engine out there but it has markedly been the leading one since its introduction in 1997. For the past 10 years, Google has stayed in another league compared to other search tools; it had an 86.86 percent market share as of July 2020, according to Statista. Remember Bing? That search engine had just 6.43%.

How many searches are made?

Google processes an average of 3.5 billion searches daily. To put that into perspective, there are around 7.8 billion people in the world today. Can you imagine nearly half the globe asking Google a question at least once a day? Adding more math to it, around 40,000 searches are made every second, amounting to 1.2 trillion searches annually worldwide, according to Internet Live Stats.

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Who uses GMail?

Infographic: The Gmail/Yahoo Mail Age Divide | Statista Source: Statista

One of Google's most popular services—aside from their ubiquitous search engine—is their e-mail. As of 2017 data, there was a clear divide between the two biggest e-mail servers, Google and Yahoo, with the younger group preferring to use the former. In the U.S., 61% of those ages 18 to 29 used Gmail while only 24% used Yahoo. With this trend, it does seem safe to say that the younger generation might just start a full tilt towards Gmail.

Has the quarantine promoted this trend?

Statistic: Leading Google apps in the Google Play Store in May 2020, by downloads (in millions) | Statista
Source: Statista

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Google's multiple apps brought in massive download numbers in May 2020—right when people were shifting towards remote work in the face of lockdowns across the globe. Google Meet was at the top of the list for Android users with over 21.48 million downloads. In total, Google's 183 published apps were downloaded a total of 278.9 million times in May alone. 

What about YouTube?

Statistic: Most popular social networks worldwide as of July 2020, ranked by number of active users (in millions) | Statista
Source: Statista

Google first acquired the video platform in 2006, a year after it first went live on the Internet. As of July 2020, YouTube is surpassed only by Facebook in terms of active users with 2 billion to Facebook's 2.6 billion. That's about a third of the world's population on a single social platform.

These numbers are just an overview of how much Google is present in everyday life—and the trends point to more growth and even bigger numbers. The recent outages feel like something the curse of 2020 has brought on us and we've got our fingers crossed they don't become a recurring one. Just keep these numbers in mind the next time you go and google something.

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