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Why is Google better than other search engines

English: The three biggest web search engines
English: The three biggest web search engines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As a product manager, it's always been clear to me that Google is better than other search engines: it's faster, more relevant, and simpler. But how did they achieve such result?

My personal conviction is that their success is deeply rooted in Google's values and philosophy. They detail this philosophy on Google's corporate webpage:
  1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
    • That's the basic, for all successful businesses.
  2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
    • This one can be challenged: Google has many many products... But I admit each and every of them does on thing (clear purpose) and usually really really well (think of google maps for instance: it's far better than the software of most expensive GPS devices).
  3. Fast is better than slow.
  4. Democracy on the web works.
    • This one is essential and deeply controversial. Many people think that trolls discredit the web community. But that's the beauty of democracy: the majority wins, not the trolls. Having contributed to IETF work, I can tell you that democracy and meritocracy produce outstanding results and have tremendously contributed to the success of the Internet.
  5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
    • SoLoMo (social, local, mobile). That's not specific to Google.
  6. You can make money without doing evil.
    • This one is essential too and deeply controversial. Some people would argue that you need to be a shark to succeed. Succeeding without transforming into a shark company is amazing and much more rewarding, but it requires innovation. That's also a root for Google's success.
  7. There’s always more information out there.
  8. The need for information crosses all borders.
  9. You can be serious without a suit.
    • Judging on results rather than appearances... That's good for the business! I prefer someone who brings results and is poorly dressed than a play boy with no results.
  10. Great just isn’t good enough.
    • This one is essential too and also quite controversial. Think about the notion of over-quality. For some people, providing a too good level of service means wasting money. But Google is smarter than this and that's a key to their tremendous and long term success.
To conclude, although Google displays 10 key principles, my personal opinion is that 4 of them are enough to explain Google's success:
  1. Democracy on the web works.
  2. You can make money without doing evil.
  3. You can be serious without a suit.
  4. Great just isn’t good enough.
Googlers and Google users out there, do you agree? Feel free to comment!


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