By Chiazo Ogbolu
The Country Director, Google Nigeria, Mrs Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, says the social and economic tool known as Google Search has attained 20 years.
Ehimuan-Chiazor in a statement in Lagos said that apart from Google Search being a way of finding information, it had proven invaluable in helping people find jobs, start businesses, and even save money.
“This month marks a major milestone for the world’s most popular search engine, as Google Search turns 20.
“Founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, with the aim of organising the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful, the Search Index now contains hundreds of billions of web pages and is well over 100 000 000 gigabytes in size.
“It is by some distance, the world’s number one search engine. This is in no small part, thanks to its efforts to ensure that users can instantly access information that is contextually relevant to them and their surroundings.
“From humble origins in a Stanford University computer lab, Search has evolved to become a vital part of most people’s lives.
“People use it for everything ‒ from looking at the weather to plan their outfit the next day, to searching for life-saving procedures in the middle of a medical emergency.
“Search is a very different product from what it was in 1998, far from simply being a way to find information; it has become a crucial social and economic tool.
“This is especially true in Africa, where it has proven invaluable in helping people find jobs, start businesses, and even save money,” she said.
The country director said that even though technology had changed, people’s tastes have remained largely consistent over the past decade, considering the most searched for people on Google in Nigeria since 2008 with many of them still relevant today.
She listed some of them as: Linda Ikeji, Wizkid, Olamide, Muhammadu Buhari, Davido, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Phyno.
She said that in Nigeria, Google was constantly working on giving people the best possible search experience, listing the latest efforts to include Google Go, Job Search, Recipe Search and Health Symptoms Search.
She also listed some fast facts on search saying in 2017, Google launched more than 270,000 experiments and made more than 2, 400 improvements to its algorithms, and continued to launch new features to make search more useful for everyone.
“When Google began, a new index was rolled out roughly every month. Today, Google generally indexes popular content from news sites and blogs within seconds or minutes of publication. For more static content, Google still updates a large fraction of its index every few days
“15 per cent of searches every day are new, more than half of searches come from outside the U. S., Brazil, India and Indonesia are in the top 10 countries with the highest search volume.
“Nearly one-third of searches came from Next Billion User (NBU) countries like Indonesia, India, Nigeria and South Africa in 2017 and 20 per cent of users in NBU countries search in two or more languages.
“The Knowledge Graph is available in 46 languages: English, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (LatAm), French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Korean, Polish, Turkish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Hebrew and others.
“Every year, there are trillions of searches on Google and over half of those searches happen on mobile and Google has indexed over 130 trillion web addresses so far.
“The Knowledge Graph maps out how more than 1 billion things in the real world are connected, and offers over 70 billion facts about them and Google’s average query response time is roughly a quarter of a second.