1. The Obvious: Search
Google continues to invest in search, a market it has dominated for years. Google has used that position of prominence to woo users to try its other services.
Advertising has become a huge business for online companies. Many online companies rely on advertising for revenue, and just a few companies, led by Google, are delivering advertising services to them.
Google’s Android platform is another pillar in the strategy. The operating system, at last count, is running on over half of the smartphones around the world, and most analysts agree that will only grow in the coming years. Combine that with AdMob and Google Search integration, among others, and it’s clear why Android is so important to Google’s future.
4. Strategic Acquisitions
Over the years, Google has made several strategic acquisitions, all with the goal of helping it achieve domination. As noted, Doubleclick and AdMob were hugely important for Google, and its recent $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility is also key. Google knows how to buy big companies and capitalize.
5. Platform Integration
One of the smartest things Google has done over the years is integrate its many services into new products. For example, it offers easy access to Google Calendar, Docs, and Photos from Gmail. Google+ is a new entrant that has been integrated into search and all Google services. That keeps people using Google services and away from competing alternatives.
6. Becoming the Apple Alternative
Although Google hasn’t been able to achieve the same kind of revenue or profits in the mobile space, the company has gone a long way in trying to become the Apple alternative. It has a mobile operating system that competes against iOS; a desktop operating system to take on Mac OS X; a music service to compete with iTunes; and an application marketplace to fight Apple’s App Store. Google is officially an Apple alternative.
7. The Anti-Microsoft
At the same time, Google has found a niche by being the “anti-Microsoft.” The company’s motto — don’t be evil — was a thinly veiled jab at Redmond. Now, with Google trying to take down Microsoft everywhere it can, it’s clear the search company wants nothing more than to try and look like the “good guy” in its battle against Microsoft.
8. The Hardware Possibility
Looking ahead, Google seems ready to start offering hardware. In fact, a recent rumor suggested the search company will be unveiling a tablet in the coming months to take on Apple’s iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire. As Google enters the hardware space, there’s no telling what kind of impact that will have.
9. Payment Solutions
Payment solutions offer a compelling opportunity in the services market. Google gets to handle users’ money and then dole it out to vendors. All the while, it’s taking a cut of it for itself. Google has done that with Checkout, and now it’s offering it with Google Wallet. It’s a smart move — and it could make Google the most important payment resource in the world, eventually.
10. Forward-Thinking Investments
Although Google focuses much of its time on search and services, the company also looks for new opportunities in other areas. The search giant has invested heavily in green technology, offers up cash for space research, and has even tried developing a car that can drive itself. Google realizes there’s a big world out there beyond the Web. And it’s capitalizing on it in a big way.