The Stupendous World of Google Search Statistics

by Christo Petrov

Can you imagine handling 3.5 billion queries a day? Probably not. No person on Earth could manage such a task. Heck, even a machine couldn’t do it.  

Except that… it can, and it does. Something called Google started off as a single server – only to morph into a business worth tens of billions of dollars over the last 20 years. Money keeps pouring in inside Google’s coffers, and it’s all because of search queries. Google search statistics keep going up and show no signs of slowing down.

How did it come to this? 

Let’s have a look at some of the mind-blowing facts and figures behind Google’s success.  

The One Billion-strong Army Behind Google

In 2012, there were 3.5 billion searches on Google every day. Or a staggering 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.  

Some experts say Google has already surpassed the 2 trillion searches mark and could easily break the 10 trillion barrier as well.

With over one billion active monthly users, Google.com is the most visited website on the planet. The Google figures are even more remarkable if we take into account regional versions of the search engine (google.co.uk, google.jp, etc.)  

Over a quarter of Google.com’s traffic comes from the US, according to Statista data. India brings in about 8.7% of all users, Japan is third with 4.6%, followed by China (3.6%) and Brazil (2.8%). 

It’s incredible how a search engine can draw so much attention. Alexa statistics show that on average a person spends 7:55 minutes every day on Google.com. How many Google searches per day do you think a person can make in that time? What do you think would be the company’s revenue from that?

There’s something else to ponder, though. Eight minutes is more than the average duration of sexual intercourse. Since when did a search engine become more engaging than sex? (In case you’re wondering, the average length of intercourse around the world is less than six minutes.)

It’s all about delivering relevant, useful information. And Google sure knows how to do that.

A Story of Success: Google History Facts

Developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1997, Google started as a small garage project. Initially, it needed a month to index 50 million web pages, a drop in the ocean compared to much bigger rivals such as Yahoo! or AOL.

But Page and Brin had a secret weapon. They didn’t know it at the time, but this piece of code would eventually help them explode the company’s growth. (Google’s search statistics back this up beautifully). They called it PageRank – an algorithm that could figure out which pieces of content users actually liked and then help return them as search results. 

For example, a web page that had many websites linking to it would show up higher in search results, as it would have been considered more popular and relevant to the user’s query. 

In contrast, other search engines used to rank their results solely on how frequently a search term appeared in the content. This ensured relevance but did nothing about the actual usefulness of the information. Naturally, the results were hit and miss. Users were not always satisfied.

Google’s PageRank took advantage and propelled the once tiny project to a multi-billion dollar company. The algorithm was very good at finding useful information. Users loved it, and the number of Google searches shot up.  

In 2000 alone there were more than 9.2 billion search queries. By 2005, it grew fifteen-fold to more than 141 billion searches. And by 2012 it peaked above 1.2 trillion queries, as Google user statistics show.

The Market Leader

You may have heard about big rivalries in the internet search industry such as Bing vs. Google. Well, figures show that when it comes to search engines, Google has no real rivals. In January 2019, it held more than 93% of the global search market, according to StatCounter. Its biggest competitor Baidu is nowhere close with just a 2.27% share. Yahoo!, once a search engine giant, has less than 1%. 

There are, of course, some country-by-country exceptions. For example, in Russia, Google comes second behind Yandex. In China, it lags behind Baidu. But overall, it has clear dominance in the total search market. 

Google has the upper hand not just in terms of demography, but also in terms of device types. It is responsible for around 90% of all desktop searches worldwide and enjoys more than 95% market share of all mobile searches.  

That should not come as a surprise to anyone. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, owns Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system with over 2 billion monthly active devices.

Guess which search engine Android uses by default.

What’s Most Searched on Google Today?

You may be wondering what users search for the most. Аfter all, that sort of information is crucial for decision-makers, politicians, SEO experts, marketing gurus, and so on. Topics vary, but they usually have to do with current events and popular culture.  

Not surprisingly, the most searched term of 2018 was “World Cup,” as calculated by Google Trends. ‘Avicii’ came in second place, followed by “Mac Miller” and “Stan Lee” (all three celebrities passed away in 2018). Blockbuster “Black Panther” settled in for the fifth place, Google search statistics show. 

If you want to scroll back in time, here are the most searched words on Google for the last five years up to 2018: “Hurricane Irma”(2017), “Pokemon Go”(2016), “Lamar Odom”(2015), “Robin Williams “(2014). 

Then there are seasonal searches that peak during a specific period of the year. They are easy to predict, as they are related to recurring events. For example, you could expect that “Super Bowl” would be among the top Google searches in the US around the end of January.

Predictions

With such an astonishing growth rate, it is hard to imagine Google’s dominance can ever end. Google’s numbers are constantly climbing. It is unlikely this growth will stall anytime soon. 

Case in point, there are regions of the world that are just discovering the internet and search engines. Being the dominant player on the market, Google should have no problem conquering those new territories. We can only imagine how many Google searches per day there will be in the future.

Conclusion

Google is undeniably a force to be reckoned with. The time spent on Google is constantly going up, and so are the company’s financial results. In 2018 alone, Alphabet’s revenues jumped 23% to $137 billion. Google’s ad revenue (from search and otherwise) is responsible for nearly every cent of this sum. With more new users coming in and a wealth of new digital content, we can safely assume no one will be able to challenge Google’s dominant position anytime soon. If you’re still not convinced, have another look at the Google search statistics.

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