As firmly as IBM ruled mainframe computing and Microsoft the personal computer age for many years, so currently Google today rules the Internet. Originally nicknamed “BackRub” in 1998 by Stanford University buddies, Serge Brin and Larry Page, Google has not only become one of the most admired companies of the modern day but has found itself into our every day language, with the verb Ã¢â‚¬Å“googleÃ¢â‚¬Â being added to the Oxford dictionary in 2006.
The stock price rocketed after its initial public offering price of $85 dollars in August of 2004 to over $720 in November 2007. At that time only Exxon Mobil Corp., General Electric Co., Microsoft Corp. and AT&T Inc. had a higher market capitalization among U.S. companies. Today at around $470, nearly 40% from its high, Google still commands a market capitalization of over $110 billion and continues to battle with giants such as News Corp. and Microsoft.
Google, with its network composed of hundreds of thousands of servers, Google’s system never ages. When its individual pieces die, engineers just pluck them out and replace them with new, faster boxes. This means the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Google cloudÃ¢â‚¬Â regenerates as it grows, almost like a living organism.
At the same time Google at some accounts has become the gatekeeper of all information. Google also advises us that Ã¢â‚¬Å“real estateÃ¢â‚¬Â is the most searched category on the Web – with the 2000-05 housing boom and the subsequent sub-prime and foreclosure catastrophe, this is maybe not that all surprising. But let’s look beyond that for a second.
With some 141 million individually identified pieces of property in the U.S., real estate is at the very center of the American way of life Ã¢â‚¬â€œ whether living, working, sport or entertainment. As Google conducts more real estate searches it aggregates more real estate information. Potentially with each new property search, each new listing added to its Ã¢â‚¬Å“deep searchÃ¢â‚¬Â database, each virtual street tour completed, each foreclosure filed, and so on Google gains more knowledge of the real estate industry.
It actually is becoming increasingly harder to wrap your mind around just what exactly Google is Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and more importantly what it may become.
Could Google become the best advertising vehicle of all time to find and to market a house for sale?
And if it does, could that reduce the need for various traditional real estate brokerage services?
And if yes, to what extent and in what way, could Google influence the fundamental re-engineering of one of the oldest sales professions?
What are your thoughts?