This Chart Reveals Google's True Dominance Over the Web
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This Chart Reveals Google’s True Dominance Over the Web

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This Chart Shows Google's True Dominance on the Web

This Chart Reveals Google’s True Dominance Over the Web

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Yes, we all know that Google is dominant in the realm of search.

But at the same time, the internet is also a huge place – and building a decent searching algorithm can’t be that hard, right?

This week’s chart is a bit mind-boggling, because it makes the case that Google is even more dominant than you may have guessed. Between all Google features and the search giant’s YouTube subsidiary, more than 90% of all internet searches are taking place through the company.

The Hard Data

According to Jumpshot (via SparkToro), a marketing analytics firm that licenses anonymous ClickStream data from hundreds of millions of users, about 62.6% of all searches online are through Google’s core function.

But that’s just the beginning, as that number doesn’t include other Google functions like image search or Google Maps, or properties such as YouTube:

Search Platform% of Searches
Google62.6%
Google (image)22.6%
YouTube4.3%
Google Maps1.3%
Google Total90.8%

Together, Google holds onto an impressive 90.8% market share of web, mobile, and in-app searches – though it should be noted that the above source does not include iPhone data at scale yet.

The Google-opoly

How does Google keep up such a massive market share, and why can’t a real competitor in search emerge?

The answer has to do with platforms and apps. Google’s strategy is to go where the users are, and to ensure that wherever they go, a Google search is not hard to do.

Over a decade ago, this meant being the home page on every internet browser – but more recently, it’s taken the form of internet browser market share (Chrome), mobile OS market share (Android), owning the dominant video platform (YouTube), and even venturing into your dwelling with Google Home.

As a result of these efforts, whenever users are searching, Google has never been far away.

Low Bids from Competition

There are competitors that dare to pluck away at Google’s market share in search and ad revenue.

Microsoft’s Bing is the most known one, and it has the advantage of being integrated into Microsoft products all over the globe. Meanwhile, DuckDuckGo is another name worth mentioning – the privacy-focused search engine doesn’t have anywhere near the same kind of financial backing as Microsoft, but it does differentiate its product considerably.

Yet, here’s a picture of U.S. search ad revenues. Bing is small, but others are smaller. DuckDuckGo doesn’t even register.

Search revenue in U.S.

Why can no one match Google?

Part of the reason lies in the math. Google operates at an insane level, processing 3.5 billion searches per day. To get millions of people to try a different search algorithm is expensive – and to get them to keep that behavior permanently is even more expensive.

The only way such change becomes feasible is if a product comes out that is 10x better than Google, and at this point, such an event seems unlikely – at least in the current ecosystem.

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How Big Tech Revenue and Profit Breaks Down, by Company

How do the big tech giants make their money? This series of graphics shows a breakdown of big tech revenue, using Q2 2022 income statements.

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In the media and public discourse, companies like Alphabet, Apple, and Microsoft are often lumped together into the same “Big Tech” category. After all, they constitute the world’s largest companies by market capitalization.

And because of this, it’s easy to assume they’re in direct competition with each other, fiercely battling for a bigger piece of the “Big Tech” pie. But while there is certainly competition between the world’s tech giants, it’s a lot less drastic than you might imagine.

This is apparent when you look into their various revenue streams, and this series of graphics by Truman Du provides a revenue breakdown of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.

How Big Tech Companies Generate Revenue

So how does each big tech firm make money? Let’s explore using data from each company’s June 2022 quarterly income statements.

Alphabet

breakdown of Alphabet's revenue streams and profit

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In Q2 2022, about 72% of Alphabet’s revenue came from search advertising. This makes sense considering Google and YouTube get a lot of eyeballs. Google dominates the search market—about 90% of all internet searches are done on Google platforms.

Amazon

breakdown of amazon's revenue streams and profit

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, Amazon’s biggest revenue driver is e-commerce. However, as the graphic above shows, the costs of e-commerce are so steep, that it actually reported a net loss in Q2 2022.

As it often is, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was the company’s main profit-earner this quarter.

Apple

breakdown of Apple's revenue streams and profit

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Apple’s biggest revenue driver is consumer electronics sales, particularly from the iPhone which accounts for nearly half of overall revenue. iPhones are particularly popular in the U.S., where they make up around 50% of smartphone sales across the country.

Besides devices, services like Apple Music, Apple Pay, and Apple TV+ also generate revenue for the company. But in Q2 2022, Apple’s services branch accounted for only 24% of the company’s overall revenue.

Microsoft

breakdown of Microsoft's revenue streams and profit

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Microsoft has a fairly even split between its various revenue sources, but similarly to Amazon its biggest revenue driver is its cloud services platform, Azure.

After AWS, Azure is the second largest cloud server in the world, capturing 21% of the global cloud infrastructure market.

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Animation: The Most Popular Websites by Web Traffic (1993-2022)

This video shows the evolution of the internet, highlighting the most popular websites from 1993 until 2022.

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ranking websites by page views 1993-2022

The Most Popular Websites Since 1993

Over the last three decades, the internet has grown at a mind-bending pace.

In 1993, there were fewer than 200 websites available on the World Wide Web. Fast forward to 2022, and that figure has grown to 2 billion.

This animated graphic by James Eagle provides a historical look at the evolution of the internet, showing the most popular websites over the years from 1993 to 2022.

The 90s to Early 2000s: Dial-Up Internet

It was possible to go on the proto-internet as early as the 1970s, but the more user-centric and widely accessible version we think of today didn’t really materialize until the early 1990s using dial-up modems.

Dial-up gave users access to the web through a modem that was connected to an active telephone line. There were several different portals in the 1990s for internet use, such as Prodigy and CompuServe, but AOL quickly became the most popular.

AOL held its top spot as the most visited website for nearly a decade. By June 2000, the online portal was getting over 400 million monthly visits. For context, there were about 413 million internet users around the world at that time.

RankWebsiteMonthly Visits (May 2000)
1AOL400,891,812
2Yahoo387,573,587
3MSN354,239,803
4eBay116,101,785
5Lycos116,064,930

But when broadband internet hit the market and made dial-up obsolete, AOL lost its footing, and a new website took the top spot—Yahoo.

The Mid 2000s: Yahoo vs. Google

Founded in 1994, Yahoo started off as a web directory that was originally called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.”

When the company started to pick up steam, its name changed to Yahoo, which became a backronym that stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”

Yahoo grew fast and by the early 2000s, it became the most popular website on the internet. It held its top spot for several years—by April 2004, Yahoo was receiving 5.6 billion monthly visits.

RankWebsiteMonthly Visits (April 2004)
1Yahoo5,658,032,268
2MSN1,838,700,057
3Google1,318,276,780
4AOL905,009,947
5eBay805,474,705

But Google was close on its heels. Founded in 1998, Google started out as a simpler and more efficient search engine, and the website quickly gained traction.

Funny enough, Google was actually Yahoo’s default search engine in the early 2000s until Yahoo dropped Google so it could use its own search engine technology in 2004.

For the next few years, Google and Yahoo competed fiercely, and both names took turns at the top of the most popular websites list. Then, in the 2010s, Yahoo’s trajectory started to head south after a series of missed opportunities and unsuccessful moves.

This cemented Google’s place at the top, and the website is still the most popular website as of January 2022.

The Late 2000s, Early 2010s: Social Media Enters the Chat

While Google has held its spot at the top for nearly two decades, it’s worth highlighting the emergence of social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

YouTube and Facebook certainly weren’t the first social media platforms to gain traction. MySpace had a successful run back in 2007—at one point, it was the third most popular website on the World Wide Web.

RankWebsiteMonthly Visits (Jan 2007)
1Google7,349,521,929
2Yahoo5,169,762,311
3MySpace1,276,515,128
4MSN1,259,467,102
5eBay957,928,554

But YouTube and Facebook marked a new era for social media platforms, partly because of their ​​impeccable timing. Both platforms entered the scene around the same time that smartphone innovations were turning the mobile phone industry on its head. The iPhone’s design, and the introduction of the App store in 2008, made it easier than ever to access the internet via your mobile device.

As of January 2022, YouTube and Facebook are still the second and third most visited websites on the internet.

The 2020s: Google is Now Synonymous With the Internet

Google is the leading search engine by far, making up about 90% of all web, mobile, and in-app searches.

What will the most popular websites be in a few years? Will Google continue to hold the top spot? There are no signs of the internet giant slowing down anytime soon, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that things change. And no one should get too comfortable at the top.

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