For years and years, Google has been a growing empire, acquiring businesses from around the world in order to advance us into the future.
Since forming back in 1998 by its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, we have seen Google grow to be one of the world's leading companies with a desire to grow further afield, moving from the online search engine to more advanced technologies. In fact, they've got quite the timeline when it comes to the amount of businesses they have acquired over the years – since 1998, they have bought 182 companies, with 40 of those coming since the start of 2014.
What interest does Google have with these companies? Well, it's now a little clearer. 11 years ago, Sergey Brin had said that "Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one." With the addition "smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses." Google have always seen the bigger picture and wanted to advance and grow on what they foresee the future to behold, starting over 10 years ago, and it appears they have stuck to that promise.
What Is Alphabet?
Yesterday, Google's Larry Page announced that they are no longer going to be known as Google Inc. and that Google will now be a subsidiary of a new umbrella company to be led by Larry Page and Sergey Brin themselves, called Alphabet (abc.xyz), leaving Google to be run by the newly appointment CEO Sundar Pichai. Alphabet is now a conglomerate of a number of different companies as acquired by Google. Larry has said "Sergey and I are seriously in the business of starting new things."
Google doesn't just dominate the internet with a number of different online tools, and products, they are much larger than you would first imagine. They are also specialists in companies that focus on life sciences, artificial intelligence, renewable energy and much more.
Within this newly formed structure, each individual business from within the alphabet will be appointed a CEO, allowing them to advance each of the smaller companies and ramp up the productivity with a larger focus.
On top of opening up new CEO opportunities to have a clearer structure, open up new jobs and focus better management of each sub-company, there's also a load of financial benefits too. Google is a huge profit making business that generates billions upon billions of dollars every year, and from making this move, it allows Google as an individual business to shine through. In the longer terms, Google will spotlight itself as Alphabets real honeypot.
So what will form Alphabet?
At the moment, there are only a few mentions of which of the Google bought companies will sit under the Alphabet hub. From the blog post, we can assume that:
- Calico – A research company that focus on longevity and life expectancy
- Life Sciences – A company who have developed a contact lens capable of detecting glucose levels in the human body
- Nest – A company who have developed a number of automated home systems such as smoke alarms and thermostats
- Fiber – A high speed internet company who are developing fibre optics capable of carrying 1gb/s data
- Google – A collaboration of the different areas of Google – Search, Ventures, Capital and X
An interesting surprise is that YouTube has not been rolled out from Google – following the initial transition to Alphabet, could we start to see separations occur starting with YouTube?
With more of a focus being generated around the different areas secured, we anticipate this list to grow pretty quickly, with Alphabet bringing more companies under the arm to help sculpt the future.
This all sounds exciting, but has Alphabet kicked off on the wrong foot?
Search fanatics have already spotted what is believed to be an "easter egg" on the abc.xyz website where a controversial text link has been hidden behind a full stop.
It is believed that the hooli.xyz link spotted in the source code of the Alphabet website was placed as a reference to the research arm of the Hooli Company created in the TV comedy series Silicon Valley. It's quite a pleasant surprise for fans of the show, however, when you refer to Google's guidelines, they are actually being broken:
"Hiding text or links in your content to manipulate Google's search rankings can be seen as deceptive and is a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Text (such as excessive keywords) can be hidden in several ways, including hiding a link by only linking one small character—for example, a hyphen in the middle of a paragraph"
Although this is the case, the link is perceived as no clear intent to mislead a search engine and therefore is likely to avoid being penalised – it's really not setting a great example though!
Dave Naylor commented:
"For me I have felt for a quite a while though that Larry Page wasn't the right person to steer Google as a search engine anymore so let's hope that Sundar gets things moving in the right direction and improves Google’s Core index and fights hacked / spammed results and HIDDEN LINKS ( pssst found one on ABC.XYZ )"
So what happens to Google?
This isn't goodbye, Google will still continue to thrive and maintain it's positioning as the biggest earner, but will now sit under the newly set up Alphabet inc. umbrella company.
With Larry Page and Sergey Brin now moving away to manage the umbrella business, they have appointed Sundar Pichai as the new CEO of Google who will take care of all day to day operations and allowing new directors to make their way to the top of the Google ladder – a great move and a well-deserved promotion for Sundar.
This means that Google will now become a more slimmed down entity and will purely focus now on anything web related such as search, Android, Chrome, maps, now, pictures etc. In making this change, it is anticipated that we will start to see Google receive a more focussed and developing future.
A recent quote from Larry has mentioned that "Google itself is making all sorts of new products, and I know Sundar will always be focussed on innovation – continuing to stretch boundaries." Because Google has been slimmed down, it makes more room for this to happen.
No further information has been supplied as to what the future plans are for Google now that Sundar is in charge, but it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
Dave Naylor has commented:
"I remember the early days when Google wasn't so big (well it was still massive), in those days Google would have awesome parties where Larry and Sergey would just mingle with search marketers. I remember in 2005 sitting with Matt Cutts, Larry and Sergey at the GooglePlex, and how passionate Sergey was about search, mind you it was 1:30am and Yahoo had just annoyed Sergey by announcing how big the NEW index was and the fact it was bigger than Google's.
What surprised me was Sergey was actually asking me about Yahoo's index and could they have really passed Googles in size, we agreed that they had cheated 😉 and were counting assets. It wasn't long after this that Google actually stopped showing how many pages it had in their index, but everything we chatted about was search and spam in the index.
Now to get some perspective on how Big Google was and how everyone actually loved them. They didn't have YouTube, Analytics or Double Click to name a few and you never read bad thing about them. It was truly a golden time for Google as a search engine, but roll forward 10 years and not 1 week goes by that the Google brand is shown in a bad light either Privacy or antitrust matters, the bigger they got the more the creepy factor came in. Now is Alphabet a wise move?
Personally I think they had no choice under the new structure a "slimmed down google" could stop any breakup by the EU, I expect we will start seeing Google an Alphabet company, YouTube an Alphabet company, Android an Alphabet company, Nest and Calico."