A search engine is a program used to find files, documents, and web pages. Most commonly, they are desktop or web search engines. While desktop search engines are only intended for local hard drives, web search engines scour the entire Internet. The best known web search engine is Google.
- In 1996, Altavista and HotBot, the first successful full-text search engines on the Internet, began their service.
- In 1999, the rise of Google began. Today the company is one of the largest and most successful internet groups in the world.
- Due to the great popularity of web search engines in general and Google in particular, a new business area opened up: Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
The beginnings: Altavista and HotBot
In 1996, Altavista and HotBot, the first successful full-text search engines on the Internet, began their service. Their technology was revolutionary, as the two search engines made it possible for the first time to carry out full-text searches for relevant websites. Given the enormous and rapid growth of the Internet, the two search engines quickly found numerous users.
Even then, the topic of search engine ranking was the focus. This means the positioning of the search results. In general, it can be said: the higher up a website is listed as a result, the more often users visit this page as part of their research. The basic principle of the ranking algorithm used by Altavista was the evaluation of the meta tags on the HTML pages. At the same time, however, text fragments from the HTML pages were also indexed and used according to an internal logic to classify the links on a ranking position.
Google came, saw, and won
In 1999, the rise of Google began. Today the company is one of the largest and most successful internet groups in the world. The offer includes not only a social network (Google+) and an e-mail service (Gmail), but also a successful operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs with Android. However, the broad portfolio only emerged in recent years – Google’s core business is still the search engine which is abbreviated as SE by abbreviationfinder.
Initially, Google listed around 25 million documents in the search index. In November 2004 the number was already over 8 billion. And ten years later, the index rises to over 48 trillion – and the tendency is to keep increasing. The large search index in combination with Google’s algorithms (also called panda, penguin and hummingbird) for listing results quickly make Google the market leader among search engine providers.
With around 90 percent of all search queries, Google is now far behind search engine competitors such as Bing (a little more than 7 percent) and Yahoo (approx. 1 percent) (as of 2017).
SEM: a new business area
Due to the great popularity of web search engines in general and Google in particular, a new business field opened up: search engine marketing or search engine marketing (SEM). This includes search engine advertising (SEA for short) and search engine optimization (SEO for short).
While search engine advertising aims to get paid advertisements under the search results, search engine optimization is all about placing your own website as high as possible in the listing of search results – ideally on page 1, of course the number of visitors to the search engine is as high as possible. Over 200 different factors contribute to the ranking in search engines such as Google, including the meta information of the website’s HTML documents and the number of links on other websites.
Not only e-commerce companies strive for the highest possible ranking on search engines. A competition for the best rankings has arisen around the world. As a result, SEM has now matured into a large branch of the economy.
Microsoft is an American software company founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The company is headquartered in Redmond, near Seattle, and has 119 offices worldwide. With sales of almost 86.83 billion US dollars (June 2015), Microsoft is the world market leader among software manufacturers.
- The students Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Monte Davidoff founded Microsoft in 1975, originally under the name Micro-Soft.
- Windows (in German: Window) is primarily used on PCs and servers.
- In 2002 Microsoft launched Windows Mobile, an operating system for smartphones and portable pocket PCs.
Microsoft’s Windows operating system
Windows (in German: Window) is primarily used on PCs and servers. Windows has continued to evolve over the past 30 years, so that a large number of product lines have been released. The newer versions include Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 and Windows 8. The term “Windows” is not just a brand name, but also has a descriptive character for an essential function of the operating system : executing programs in windows.
In 2002 Microsoft launched Windows Mobile, an operating system for smartphones and portable pocket PCs. The current version was published in 2010 under the name Windows Phone 7. The special thing about it is the intuitively controllable user interface, as you know it from Apple’s iPhone. With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is trying to compete for shares in the smartphone market with its arch rival Apple.
Microsoft launched the Windows 8 operating system worldwide in October 2012. The software is available for more than a hundred different devices. For the first time, the new Windows offers a uniform platform for different device classes such as PC, tablet and smartphone. Much is at stake for Microsoft: rivals like Apple and Google have been able to gain massive ground outside of the PC market in recent years. “We have reinvented Windows,” announced CEO Steve Ballmer at the market launch in New York. A new era began for the company and its customers. Microsoft delivered Windows 8, a competing product in the tablet computer market. After an update to version 8.1, Windows 10 launched in 2016. Around 90 percent of personal computers now run on a Windows system.
Microsoft under fire
Since Microsoft’s Windows operating system has an estimated market share of 92 percent, the company has been criticized for this quasi-monopoly, including for violating competition laws. For example, Microsoft is accused of abusing its position as the market leader for an anti-competitive contract policy towards economically dependent companies, of bundling various products in an anti-competitive manner or of undermining established software standards in order to retain customers. The discontent with this business policy has contributed significantly to the emergence of the open source movement, which wants to offer alternatives to Microsoft products.