Episode 6: Google

    “All of a sudden, we’ve lost a lot of control,’ he said. ‘We can’t turn off our internet; we can’t turn off our smartphones; we can’t turn off our computers. You used to ask a smart person a question. Now, who do you ask? It starts with g-o, and it’s not God…” ― Steve Wozniak

    Ask yourself a question: Who do you refer to first if you have a query or doubt about almost anything? There is a fairly high chance that Google came into your mind at the sight of the question. Google, the most prominent subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. receives over 3.5 billion searches everyday from all over the world and the parent company surpassed the 1 trillion-dollar mark (in value) earlier this year. 

    Pre-Lockdown Phase

    Shortly after the company surpassed the said trillion-dollar mark, its stocks began to fall face-first during the months of March and April, which has been deemed to be a bump in their advertising business. Google further clarified that the main reason behind this slowdown was Covid-19 due to which they had to delay certain upcoming ad launches in the areas affected by the virus.

    During the Lockdown and Ahead

    Even after the nation-wide lockdown was imposed in India, Google’s stocks continued to follow the same trend. It was not until April 29th that the company’s performance rose yet again and the decline proved to be less severe than feared by the markets. Since then the user activity throughout a variety of google products has risen dramatically. According to reports, the number of coronavirus-related searches have been almost four times than those during the NFL Super Bowl, a football league which is now widely revered to be a cultural phenomenon in the West. Additionally, Youtube has been garnering a huge number of viewers ever since the lockdown was initiated, with livestreams dominating the area of growth.

    People’s google search results have also been useful in revealing a lot about the ongoing trends among the populace. India is leading the world in terms of search interest for ‘stress’ according to data revealed by Google which has been substantially backed by the Indian Psychiatric Society. 

    While Google is big enough to point out an entire demographical trend, it’s closest competitors, in the field of search engines, Bing and Yahoo, own a market share of 2.75 and 1.7 percent respectively in contrast to Google’s staggering 91.75 percent.

    As of 6th July, Alphabet Inc. was trading at USD 1469.93 which denotes an increase of approximately 1.94% from the previous day. Google, a networking company, was bound to profit during the wake of Covid-19, because at a time like this, when almost every nation is suffering from the virus, being connected helps in a number of different ways. 

    As more and more people use this platform for a multitude of reasons, be it Google Meet for virtual meetings, Google’s office utility offerings (such as Docs) for working from home, or the highly valuable certificate courses it has to offer, people will understand and develop an awareness towards technology which could, by all means, not only change the face of tech as we see it but also spark a spirit of innovation among the masses. Already, we can witness Google entering the gaming market through Stadia, a service which essentially streams games to your device, thereby, rendering the need for costly hardware useless and potentially disrupting the gaming market forever. 

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