There is no question that Google is one of the biggest and most influential companies in the world.
With Google regularly acquiring new companies, the chances are you use Google every day without even knowing it. From YouTube to Android to Waze, Google has come a long way from just being a search engine.
In fact, since 2010 Google has acquired on average more than 1 company per week. As of June 2016, Google has acquired over 190 companies worldwide ranging from start-ups to well established multinational businesses.
If you thought Google was just a search engine, then think again.
Google currently owns numerous websites around the world, some you may be familiar with and some you definitely aren’t.
Data from the traffic ranking company, Alexa, shows that Google owns 3 of the 10 most visited websites in the world. More specifically, they own the top 2 most visited sites in the world which are of course Google.com and YouTube.
With Google being so big and powerful it can be hard to imagine the world without them.
But imagine for one second that Google disappeared overnight.
They were told to shut down by the government, they went bankrupt, the owners decided to disband, they got hit by a massive cyber-attack, a rogue AI invaded their offices, the actual reason why isn’t important, but the idea is that they’re gone for good.
How would this affect your day to day life? Would you even notice that Google had disappeared?
What Are The Most Important Google Services?
There are many services that Google provide to customers, most of them are free, but there are also a few you have to pay for. If Google was to disappear overnight, all of their services would suddenly stop working.
Think about your life for a moment.
Can you name all the Google services that you regularly use on a daily basis?
Most likely you use at least 1 or 2 of them regularly. If they were to disappear entirely would you be able to function without them? Probably right? You could just use alternative services.
Here are some of the most valuable services Google offers. We’ve had a think about how each one might be affected and how everyone would react. Some services have obvious alternatives that people would just switch to, while some are a bit more complicated. Here’s what we think.
For those of you that don’t know, Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google. Since its release in 2007 Google has continuously updated and released new versions of the software over the years.
Today the software has become very popular, and millions of people around the world rely on it. In fact, Android is so big that all mobile phones can be split into 2 categories. Android or iOS.
If Google was to disappear overnight, then every Android phone would instantly stop receiving updates. Not to mention that the Google play store would probably disappear as well leaving everyone with no apps.
What a nightmare!
With no updates or apps available, it would only be a matter of time until people started switching their phones.
Google currently develop their own mobile phones and have just recently released their first self-built mobile, the Google Pixel. In the past, Google has teamed up with other companies to provide the software while the other company provides the hardware.
This time they’ve taken the decision to create the Pixel mobile entirely on their own. If Google did cease to be then not only would their Android software stop working but a whole range of mobiles and futures mobiles would disappear.
Google’s main competitor is currently Apple with their iPhone and iOS software. If Google was to disappear and leave the market, then Apple would instantly have a monopoly. By being the only mobile phone manufacturer that produces their own software and hardware, they would basically own the entire market.
Good news for Apple, bad news for everyone else. Wave bye bye to cheap mobiles!
Google Mail is one of the most popular services Google offers. With a free email address and 15GB of storage, you can see why Gmail is so popular.
If you rely on Gmail for your emails every day then in our hypothetical situation you’d be shocked to find out you can’t access them.
But you wouldn’t be alone.
Gmail currently has over 1 Billion active users.
If everyone’s email addresses and emails were to disappear at the same time, you can imagine the chaos it would cause. All those important saved emails gone. Your entire contact list, gone.
It would cause some massive disruptions all over the world.
If Gmail was to disappear, along with all your saved emails, then you’d be forced to use an alternative service. The other popular services are Hotmail and Yahoo, but of course, none of them are as good as Gmail.
As a last resort, you could also consider setting up your own email address, but they would never be as simple and easy as Gmail.
Gmail disappearing wouldn’t be the end of emails but imagine losing thousands of your contacts and saved emails. You could reconnect with everybody on a new email, but let’s hope you memorised all those email addresses…
Another great service that Google offer is Google Drive. This online cloud storage service allows users to store their files online so they can back them up and share them with friends.
Currently, every Google account has Google Drive available and allows users to upload anything from videos to pictures or documents and store them in the cloud. Once stored in Google Drive, they can be shared with other people or downloaded again at a later date.
This makes accessing your files very easy, and you can take them with you wherever you go. If Google was to disappear, along with Google Drive, then there would be plenty of other services to swap too.
The more important and crucial point would be that everyone’s data would be gone. Users are continuously told to back up their data and putting it on an online cloud is one of the safest ways.
Of course, nobody expects that company to disappear overnight. So if it did you can imagine how terrifying it would be to wake up and find all your family photos, video and documents gone.
Although we don’t think the actual Google Drive service would be missed, as there are many great alternatives, your data certainly would be.
The second biggest website that Google owns is unquestionably YouTube. Will more than a billion active users, the site generates billions of views every single day. If you want to watch a music video, trailer, live show or concert then you can probably find it on YouTube. There are literally millions of videos for everyone to enjoy. But of course, you probably already knew that and didn’t need us to tell you!
If the most popular video sharing website in the world was to disappear, where else would you waste all your time watching cute cat and dog videos?
Funny videos aside, many people rely on YouTube to make a living. These YouTube partners are paid ad revenue every time someone views their videos. The more videos they make, the more money they receive. There are currently over 8,000 YouTube partners with over 50% of them earning six-figure salaries.
Take the famous YouTuber PewDiePie for example, in 2015 the streamer made over $12 million dollars in ad revenue alone. If YouTube was to disappear then many of these YouTubers income would instantly stop.
They would most likely be forced to use other video websites such as Vimeo, Dailymotion or Metacafe. Most of these websites do have a partnership plan in which they share ad revenue, but it’s nowhere near as much compared to YouTube.
More importantly, though, what would everyone do at work without YouTube?
Google search is by far the best search engine in the world. It’s the godfather of search engines.
Whenever someone wants to find something, they go to Google. Google have spent years refining their engine and are constantly updating their algorithms to make the service better. No other search engine can compete.
In fact, Google has become so popular and essential for everyday life you probably have “Google it!” in your vocabulary. Do you think you could reprogram yourself to say “Bing it!” instead? We don’t believe that we could.
If Google was to disappear overnight, then people would be forced to use different search engines instead. This would meaning using the likes of Bing, Yahoo, and AskJeeves (shudder). Although they would get the job done, the results would be nowhere near as good as Google’s. The algorithms on these other search engines aren’t as good, as they are known for bringing up irrelevant content to your search.
One thing’s for sure, though, “Where has Google gone?” would become the number 1 searched term on every other search engine.
Now you might be thinking that Google Search disappearing is a wacky idea and it would never happen. Well, think again.
Google Search might have not disappeared for most of the world, but you might believe it has if you live in China. Google has been banned in China for several years, and users have to rely on other search engines such as the Chinese operated Baidu.
Many of us rely on Google search every day, and the thought of switching to something else like Bing or Yahoo can seem a daunting task. Out of all of Google’s services, we think Google Search is their most important and would have the biggest impact on people if it was to disappear.
Fingers crossed it never will!
What About Their Staff?
Now you have an idea of all the web services that would be affected; it’s also important to think about the effect it would have on all of Google’s workers or “Googlers.”
From the latest statistics in 2015, Google had a total of 61,814 employees working for them. If Google was just to disappear overnight all of these people would be out of work and it would have significant impacts on local economies around the world.
The biggest area that would be affected would be California. Google currently have their headquarters located in Mountain View, California which currently holds around 19,000 Googlers. If Google disappeared, then a lot of people in that area would suddenly be out of work.
People might have to sell their homes, stop renting or even move away from the country entirely. If the average Google employee is being paid $30,000 (to be conservative), that’s over $570 million a year disappearing from the local economy.
With an economy losing that much money overnight it’s very likely the effects will be catastrophic and would cause problems for everyone else living in the area as well.
If you thought waking up to find Gmail and Google Search gone was bad, then imagine waking up to find out you’re jobless.
So Why Is Google Just So Important?
As you can see from above, Google has billions of active users worldwide and has a huge impact on everyone’s daily life. Not only do they provide services for billions of people around the world, but they also have thousands of employees that rely on them to live.
By now you should have realised exactly how important Google is in this day and age. Whether you want to send an email, watch funny videos or find a business in your area, Google is here to help.
Considering they own the top 2 most visited websites in the world if you want your site to be seen then you need to make sure it shows up on Google.
Since Google is the most used search engine in the world, it makes sense to put effort into ranking your website higher. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the art of making your website rank higher on search engines.
If you own a local gift shop and someone Google’s “gift shops” then you want your website to be at the top of the list. Without any SEO on your website, the chances are it won’t even be on the first page and will go un-noticed by everyone.
Why Businesses Need Google
What’s the point in having a website for your business if nobody is going to see it?
If you want Google to bring you lots of visitors, then you need to optimise your website. This can be a range of things such as using the correct titles, formatting, and keywords. Without SEO on your website, you’ll struggle to show up on Google, and all those potential customers will visit somebody else website.