Google is the world’s most popular search engine. All in all, it accounts for over 70% of all online searches worldwide, far ahead of its main competitor Bing (about 10%). That’s a lot of searches.
Google is not only the main preoccupation of my job as an SEO, it has become a culturally significant institution, changing the way we interact with one another and access information daily. It got me thinking: what sort of a country would Google make?
Every month, 1.17 billion people use Google. If one considers usage as equivalent to ‘Google citizenship’, that would make the US firm the third largest country in the world by population, behind China (1.35 bn) and India (1.23 bn), by far surpassing the US.
All other indicators aside, the very sheer size of the firm’s population would make it a key player both politically and economically.
Speaking of, it won’t come as a massive shock that Google does pretty well financially. Scrap that, Google does VERY well. Last year, Google’s estimated revenue came to $66 billion.
If Google was a country and this figure its GDP, it would the search engine the 70th richest nation on Earth, ahead of places like Iceland and Bulgaria.
As far as Google’s economic system, a multitude of dodgy tax avoidance scandals in recent years suggest it would almost certainly be a very liberal capitalist society, with low taxes a and a small government.
Standards of living
Of course, being an economically developed country is no guarantee for high standards of living. The US and UK stand as constant reminders that even advanced nations can be characterised by a sickening disparity between the very wealthy and the rest, and emerging nations are certainly no different.
If working conditions at Google’s headquarters are anything to go by though, Google would be up there with Scandinavian countries when it comes to looking after its own: three meals a day, free fitness classes and banking support are only some of the numerous perks which come with a job at the Mountain view headquarters in California.
On the international scene, the Google nation is not one to f*ck around with. Take the example of Spain, whose media tried to impose taxes on Google in return for featuring local newspapers in Google News.
Not only did Google refuse, they responded by withdrawing News from their Spanish search engine altogether. It was a disaster for newspapers, who lost a huge amount of visitors and were forced to back down with their tail between their legs. Told.
Likewise, disagreement with France over the right to be forgotten issue suggests Google is not afraid to take on anyone to protect its own political interests, even one of the big boys.