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A Comparative Look at Google’s Top Applications and its Competitors

Episode 2 of 3 – Can Google be all things to All People?

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Flickr

There is no doubt that Google dominates the Internet today. However, the Internet is rapidly evolving into multiple arenas that include organic and paid search, cloud storage, and computing, video and photo storage and streaming, social media, browser, and OS connectivity and office productivity suites. These subsets of the Internet are becoming productivity and marketing arenas on their own. Google’s competitors are eager to knock Google off the top of its dominant position on the World Wide Web. The companies that control the sub arenas will directly affect our lives in many ways. Soon everyone will have to choose a camp to maximize the benefits of what the web should offer. In episode 2 of this 3-part series, we will explore Google's top offerings along with its top competitors including; Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and others. So, get ready for a comparative look at Google’s apps and its top contenders and their Internet applications as they slug it out to gain supremacy.

In the Organic Search Arena
And in this corner, we have the current champ – Google. Every second, there are 40,000 searches
Courtesy of Pixabay
conducted on Google Search
. In a recent article in Smart Insights by Robert Allen, he shows just how dominant Google is. Currently, Google dominates the search market with a 77% share. In fact, Google controls most of search, more than all other players combined. Its nearest three competitors, Baidu, Bing and Yahoo only make up 21.04%. However, search is evolving because of the emergence of the Social Media arena, which is dominated by Facebook. Many of the 2 billion+ Facebook users do all their searches using Facebooks Graph Search. In fact, a recent article points out that Facebook users spend a huge amount of time connect to that social network and that 1.32 billion of them are daily active users.

In the Social Media Arena
The current champ in the social arena is Facebook. It's huge active subscriber base is unequaled by any other social network. Google+ only has 540 million active users. Only 540 million! However,
Courtesy of Pixabay
Google also owns YouTube and Blogger, both of which are social players making Google a strong social contender in the social media arena. There are billions and billions of social media subscribers. In fact, the rise of social media has made the consumer the new arbiter of what's good and bad in our world. In the social world, there are many players. For example; it’s not uncommon to see Instant messaging apps, YouTube, Blogger and other socially used apps listed. This is because any application that allows you to post, comment, share and acquire a following is considered a social application. Nevertheless, Facebook almost doubles the rest of the field, especially when you consider that they own WhatsApp and Instagram who are two of the largest social network players.

In the Video Arena 
Currently, YouTube is the video arena champ with 1.5 billion monthly active users. In an article by Jawed Karin called 36 Mind Blowing YouTube Facts, Figures, and Statistics - 2017, he states: “About 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. YouTube gets over 30 million visitors per day.” just to list a few.

However, there are many other heavy hitters in this arena, including; Facebook, Vimeo, and
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Twitter. But that’s not all the players, you also have Amazon and Netflix and let’s not forget the broadcast companies (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) who are struggling to make the transition to Internet TV. On top of that, we also have dozens of video content giants like HBO, Cinemax, ShowTime, Stars and many others also vying for a slot in this arena. In fact, the whole video arena is about to explode as the masses transition regular network cable and satellite TV to Internet TV.  For me, this is one of the most exciting marketing arenas that I will be discussing. The fight for internet video dominance will be a major victory. Check out my article call; Is It time to Cut the Cord on Cable and Satellite TV?” for detailed insights.

In the Free Web based E-Mail Arena
The free email arena battle is much closer than the other areas we have talked about so far. If you do a review of the latest head to head comparison articles, you will see that Gmail and Outlook are very
Courtesy of Pixabay
close with one article giving Gmail the top marks as the best Free email and the other article rating Microsoft Outlook as the best product. This doesn’t mean that other products are not worth using or looking at. In fact, if you’re an Apple iPhone user, chances are you use Apple Mail. And if you’re over 60 and hates change, you may be using Yahoo or AOL. The good news is that today there are many options including Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, Yahoo Mail, GMX, AOL, ZOHO and many more. Your reasons for choosing a Free email application will be based on many factors. Our reason for choosing Gmail is because it is a mature and proven product whose security is top notch, and is well integrated with many other Google products. If you're fond of using all Microsoft or Apple products, that may be your primary reason for choosing that companies email.

In the Cloud Computing Arena
The cloud computing arena is an interesting one. It is more complex than the other areas we have discussed mainly because there are so many options. Depending on who you talk to, there are many winners in this category. If you read the articles linked in this section, you will see what I am talking about. Your choice will be based on your individual needs and preferences. These include, but are not limited to: whether you want a free product, access files on the go, revision management, automatic file backup, high-level file security, web services, and or whether you want to collaborate with colleagues on projects. Six years ago, we chose Google Drive as our cloud service because it was one of the first products on the market that was easy to use, was very functional and because it was priced right (free). Today we still use Google drive (the paid version now called G suite) because it is highly rated, very secure, and feature rich. 
Courtesy of Pixabay

Other top-rated products include Microsoft’s One-Drive & Azure, Amazon Drive (part of Prime) and its Web services, Apple iDrive, Drop Box and many others.  If you’re a Microsoft or Apple user, you will probably choose their products unless you have a particular need outside of what they offer. One of the companies that surprised me was Amazon; it was highly rated in all my research. If you’re a Prime user or into e-commerce, Amazon is a good choice. If you’re looking for a place to drop and share files and want a mature product your choice may be Dropbox. The fact is that there is no clear winner in this category unless you have your personal needs list to make the selection. On top of that, you will be evaluating security, reliability, speed, ease of use, integration into your logistics and much more. My partner Carl Weiss wrote a good article about cloud computing not too long ago that is worth reading called; Is There a Silver Lining Inside Cloud Computing?“, check it out.

In the Photo Storage Arena
This arena is a subset of the Cloud computing category and also has no clear winner. Google drive has Google Photos as part of its offering. Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s One-Drive has photo storage, as do Dropbox, Amazon Prime, and Yahoo’s Flickr. On top of that, you can keep photos on
Courtesy of Flickr
most social nets like Facebook and Twitter plus there are many specialty photo sharing cloud products that are aimed at amateur and professional photographers alike. The way I see it,
your choice for best will be based on your needs. Will you be editing the photos online (Google Photos)? Do you need unlimited storage (Amazon)? Is the photo community the most important factor for you (Flickr)? Love Apple products, use iCloud Photo. Do you need to access the photos from multiple hardware platforms (MS OneDrive)? Are you a professional who needs to show off your best work (500px)? Again, the consumer is the winner in this category simply because you have lots of options.

In the Browser Arena
Courtesy of Max Pixel
If we are going by the sheer number of users, Chrome has been the most dominant browser for some time now. Chrome displaced Microsoft’s internet explorer after its 14 year run at the top. Neither FireFox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, Opera or any other browser has as many users. 
A recent ZD net article called; “Chrome is the most popular web browser of all.” It points out that - Chrome currently has 44.5% of all users followed by Safari with 25.4%, the Internet Explorer with 15.5%, Firefox with 7.4%, Microsoft Edge with 3.5% and a few others taking up the final 3.6%. Today consumers have lots of great browser options. Your choice of browser will be based on many factors; including security, privacy, speed, features, customization and much more. We wrote about the browser wars in the past because we feel it’s your primary interface to the World Wide Web and that interface affects everything. How you find content, where you will look, your security and much more. Check out: “Browser Wars – Then and Now” for some insight into why this is important.

In the Operating System Arena
Most of us don’t equate the use of an operating system being tied to the usage of the World Wide Web. In fact, most believe that a computer or digital devices OS is separate from the web altogether. Well, things are changing for better or worse. Everyone knows that Microsoft has the lion's share of users worldwide. A recent article in ZD net called “Today's most popular operating systems” shows that Microsoft’s Windows has 49.2% of the market. However, it's not just one version, it breaks down like this (Version 7 -26.2%, 10 has 17%, 8.1 has 3.5%, with XP, Vista, and others making up the rest), Apple’s iOS  is second with 22.9%, followed by Android with 16.8%, Apple’s Macintosh with 9.2% Chrome with 1.1% and the remainder of.9% going to all others. 
Courtesy of Pixabay

The question of who has the best OS is up for grabs. In fact, it’s based mostly on what you know and used to, more than which is really best”. Today, new computer operating systems are becoming more and more integrated with the web. In fact, if they were not connected to the web, they would soon become insecure or even obsolete from lack of updates. All OS products require regular security updates. Also, many upgrades come from the web via subscription service. You know this is you have Microsoft One-Drive, Office 365, Google G Suite or some other cloud connected service. In Fact, Windows 10 built in assistant, called Cortana (its artificial intelligence) is tightly integrated into retrieving content from the web and without the web our digital devices are far less useful than with it.

In the Arena of Online Office Productivity Suites
Courtesy of Flick
This arena is akin to the OS category in that these items until recently were bought and install products. Also, there is the question of whether it’s a free product or a digital subscription based product. Now all can be purchased, in stores, have cloud integrated or even be exclusively cloud based. So, the first question you have to answer is will a free product do or do you need a full featured pay as you go office suite. In the free or near free arena, Apple’s iWorks and Collabora productivity suite could be your top picks. The two biggest players duking it out for the full featured office suites are Google’s G suite and Microsoft Office 365. In my opinion, Microsoft is currently the top in this arena. With the mature, robust and full feature capabilities, even most Apple users have adopted MS office for their business use. Having said that, Google’s G Suite is making it tougher for MS office to walk away a clear winner. There are also other products like ZOHO and Polaris Office to choose from, just to name a few.

The World Wide Web is a double-edged sword. It has provided us with countless options to learn, invent, communicate, share, collaborate and expand the human experience. At the same time, we as a society, we have become very dependent on using the web. Computers and most digital devices no longer come with disk or manuals, you get them from the web. On top of that, we are entering the age of smart devices. Smart TV’s, Smart Refrigerators, Smart House’s, etc. All of these devices are Internet dependent in some way. They all need updating regularly
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
and rely on the web for connectivity and content. Google is one of the leaders in this frontier. The depth and breadth of their products are impressive and extensive. Although they are not the leader in every category in this article, they are always in the top tier of everyone. If you are looking for a unified product line, Google has one of the best and will give all the other players in this article a run for their money. It is my hope that you take the time to educate yourself by reading the articles linked in this one and that you try several of the products out first before you commit to any one product line. We have chosen Google for most of our work. I hope this article has provided useful information to help you find the best fit for your needs.

That’s my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

This article discusses whether Google’s top web products can fulfill your needs for Search, Cloud storage and computing, photo storage and video streaming, social media, browser usage, OS connectivity and office productivity suites. It provides a comparison of Googles product with those of Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and many others. It provides recommendations and includes many links to other reference articles.
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If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, and co-workers. I recommend checking out the links in the blog, along with checking out other related articles on our Show Notes Page Also, this article is part of a three part series, so check out “Episode one - A Look at What Alphabet (AKA Google) Has to Offer the World.” Don’t forget to listen to the BlogTalkRadio show on this subject.  If you have a related useful comment or opinion about to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  Also, don’t forget to plus us, on Google+ and share us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well.

Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.” 


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