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What is that Elephant Doing in Your Office?

GoogleAs a business owner or manager, you undoubtedly have some interest and knowledge about the Internet and selling your services or products on it. You probably have a website and get some leads or sales from it. If you are very savvy or employ a firm that is, you probably do a lot of business on the web. You are intimate with Google and possibly Bing and have a nodding acquaintance with such a thing as search engine optimization which is a topic for another time.

Back in 1994, when I began in an upstart internet firm in Toronto, the big conversation about the Internet was whether businesses should be on it at all. It had up to that point in time been the preserve of academia and a handful of geeks who wanted to see cyberspace continue to be unsullied by commercialism. Wild and wooly time.

Fortunately for myself, I helped to produce some of the first Internet banking sites on the web, a few of which won Internet banking awards. I fondly remember the time we set up the first website, at least that we were aware of, that did an online credit check and loan approval. There was a lot of excitement around the office when the programmers got it to work. Ah, Netscape Navigator was the browser of choice and the first budding of Internet Explorer happened around then.

Search engines? I used Alta Vista. I could usually find something on something within the first five pages of results. Fade to black.

Today, it is a different story
The net is no longer a novelty where people just “surf” for hours on end looking for new virtual experiences. It is a huge economic engine, helping to drive our economy. In the 2nd quarter of this year, e commerce accounted for $64.8 billion of sales according to the Department of Commerce and now represents 5.8% of all retail sales. It is growing fast too – up almost 5% from the first quarter of this year.

Every business needs to be on this bandwagon.

But it is not just e commerce as maybe your product or service is not e commerce friendly. It is about being on the web and being found by consumers or businesses interested in your product.

Hence we get back to Google and Bing – today’s search engine heavyweights. And really it is primarily Google which accounts for the majority of the traffic.

The point I want to make in this article though is that the size of today’s Internet is truly awe-inspiring and daunting.

US search engine stats
StatCounter.com has Google at almost 80% of the US market in July 2013

Let’s look at the statistics
In the month of July 2013, in the U.S., there were 19.4 billion searches done.

How many is that? Well, if I gave you $1,000 a day, seven days a week, how long would it take you to collect 19 billion dollars? Um, around 52,019 years.

And Google handled 67% of those per comScore.com. Statcounter now puts it closer to 80% for July to August.

Last year, globally, Google handled itself over 1.8 trillion searches.

How many pages of the Internet has Google indexed (meaning has in their database and can be pulled up for a search request)?

It is estimated by worldwidewebsize.com to be just under 36 billion. Over a 100,000 years to collect that amount if I gave you $1,000 a day.

Awesome, eh? Pretty big elephant!

That’s what is sitting in your office and accessed by your computer.

If you want some help wrestling with that elephant, we have some expertise that might be able to help you out. I suggest you give our office a call.