When you hear the "Big Three" do you still automatically think about Google, Yahoo and Bing? Well, the fact is that the "Big Three" is no longer the "Big Three."
The "Big Four" of the Internet is now Google, Bing, Apple and Facebook. Currently, they are holding strong to their positions of dominance on the World Wide Web; however, other wannabes are still trying to evict them from their positions on the top of the pile. And with new competition making headway daily, will the "Big Four" hold up?
Let's discuss who the "Big Four" are, and you can determine if you think they will hold up.
1. Google - The Patriarch of Search Engines
Google, of course, is the patriarch as it were of this group and with its lengthy list of popular products, I don't think it will be going anywhere soon. It has become the name of Internet searches for most people because when you need an answer, someone will inevitably say, "Google it." And Google it we do, millions and more likely billions of times a day, which has made it the search engine to love and cater to for many people. With their great following, they have been able to expand into other areas with continued success.
Popular Google Products
- Networks (Google My Business, Google Plus and YouTube)
- Advertising (Google Keyword Planner and Google AdWords)
- Google Drive (encompasses a cloud based version comparable to Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- Website Tools (Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools)
Google's dominance in the search engine space as well as across the gamut of their products has caused businesses and individuals alike to force themselves to adapt and adjust every time they make another algorithm change. We all do what we must do to stay on top of their search engine and leverage their tools and platforms.
Other search engines have been rising up to try to knock Google from its throne. The big question is will they succeed?
2. Bing - Microsoft's Search Engine and Default on New PC Purchases
Bing is another big search engine name on the Big Four that has made strides at giving Google a bit of a run for their money, but that run may be running out of steam. Bing is currently the closest of the "Big Four" in that it resides in the same line of business as Google. Early on they had some bumps and growing pains that sent some of their users running back to the perceived security of Google, however, Bing survived and has been gaining some popularity.
The full report is not in by a long shot on Bing's ultimate survival but there are some whispers that Bing may be losing ground. A possible hit to Bing may have been when Facebook decided to no longer use it as its search product that drives Facebook searches generated by its users. The impact of this on Bing is unclear because there is not a specific report out there on how much traffic Facebook brought to Bing.
Bing's product line is not as vast as Google, but among them are Bing Places for Business, Bing Ads, Product Search and they have even created their own version of webmaster tools, which isn't nearly as comprehensive as Google's, but is better than nothing.
Bing is holding on as one of the Big Four so any future demise is as yet unclear but being a product of Microsoft gives them a fairly sturdy foundation to weather any storms.
3. Apple - The Master Business Model
Of course, no list of the Internet "big dogs" could ever be complete without Apple. Good ole Apple. You either love them or hate them, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground with people, but either way you, have to admit they are masters at what they do.
Their business model is that they make everything proprietary so if you start with them you can't get away from them. This is what makes many people dislike them and, somehow, at the same time, it is also what makes people love them!
Popular Apple Products
- Mobile Technology (iPhone, iPad, iWatch to name a few)
- Computers (Examples include MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iMac)
- iTunes Digital Suppository (Includes eBooks, Movies, Music, Podcast, Internet Radio and TV Shows)
Apple's uniqueness is what makes people campout in below freezing weather for days just to be the first to own their next new product. They have mastered the art of building a loyal fan base and making people crazy about their brand!
4. Facebook - The Social Media Giant
Some may not consider Facebook a part of the "Big Four" but, when it comes to people using the Internet, it definitely is well deserving of its place on this list. Based just on the sheer number of users and the time each user spends on its social network on any given day, it holds its position firmly close to the top.
Facebook continually expands the features available through their business pages and is well on its way to becoming a contender in the paid advertising space.
Popular Facebook Features
- For Individuals (Profiles, Groups, Games, Messages)
- For Businesses (Pages, Advertising, Insights, Developer Tools)
- Mobile apps (Used to manage their personal profile, business pages and even their ads)
Facebook is currently testing out their platform to provide publishers with a way to publish their content directly to the Facebook newsfeed and even partner on advertising and advertising dividends.
The diversity Facebook has in this group will likely keep them safe and secure on the list. You never know though, they may one day expand to the point of knocking one of the others off their pedestal and taking number one.
While there are many others that may eventually be added to this group of four and expand its numbers, including sites like Amazon, these four seem to be head and shoulders above the others for now.
What do you think of my list? Who would you add? Let me know in your comments below.
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