Google celebrates 20 years, looking back at challenges and successes

Global Business

It’s a search engine that’s become so popular, that many people actually use its name as a verb. Just “Google” it.

And today marks 20 years since officially became a domain and the ultimate repository for all human knowledge.

CGTN’s Mark Niu takes a look at what the company means to the world and the challenges it faces ahead.

The Mopria alliance makes printing from devices with Google’s Android operating system easier than ever.

Mopria credits Google for making business possible for so many.

“And all the companies whether you want, you can make an Android device. If you are Huawei, ZTE or Samsung, LG, I mean these guys really enable, empowered by Google,” Ming Gao, Vice Chair of Mopria Alliance said.

It’s not just tech giants either. When entrepreneur Adrian Solgaard had the idea for this backpack with solar-powered charging, ‘googling’ was step number one.

“I was Googling to find designers, sewers, factory samples and all these bits and pieces. My first time making a technology project, it wouldn’t have been possible without Google,” Adrian Solgaard, founder of Solgaard Design said.

“Twenty years ago, I was searching on Yahoo. I mean so I think what Google did is they changed and transformed what we thought about search. In fact, they are like the 28th search company to show up. The page rank and the Adsense completely changed the way we looked at web marketing and web analytics,” Ray Wang, Principal Analyst of Constellation Research told us.

That’s not all they changed. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin transformed the world from their Stanford grad school dorm rooms. They acquired YouTube. Without it there’d be no viral videos.

They call their R&D lab a “moonshot factory.”

Some moon shots fail. And the verdict is still out on others-like self-driving cars, extending human lifespan and high-altitude balloons delivering WiFi service to the world from the edge of space.

“Google has a lot of history in bringing out ideas, testing out for 2-3 years, and then killing it. But, what they are doing is learning from their fast fails. Think about Google Glass. They learned that maybe the market is too early for what’s going on in virtual reality. I think Google’s biggest challenge is to diversify from the search business. Search is still 80-90 percent of their business,” Ray Wang, Principal Analyst, Constellation Research said.

Google also faces major legal hurdles ahead, especially in Europe where earlier this year it was hit with a $2.7 billion anti-trust fine. And next year, the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect, which basically requires companies to ask consumers for consent before collecting their personal data. It also gives consumers the right to have that data erased.

“Question has to be asked: is it really because of the fear of large American companies dominating in Europe Or, is it really a privacy concern driving this regulation And, I think there’s a little bit of both going on there,” Ray Wang also said.

After 20 years online, Google has more than billion users going more than a trillion searches a year. And now the company is chasing something that’s probably less fanciful than a moon shot-its next billion users.

David Kretzmann talks about Google, its parent unit ‘Alphabet’ and the future

For more on Google, its parent unit Alphabet and the future CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to David Kretzmann. He’s an analyst with the The Motley Fool, a financial advisory company.