Google is the world’s largest online search engine, ahead of competitors like Yahoo, Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo and others. While that fact is universally accepted by one and all as indisputable, exactly how big are the company’s search operations in terms of actual searches performed by the search engine? After years of silence regarding the volume of online traffic it generates from search requests and the amount of data it sifts through, the search giant has now revealed that it performs “trillions” of searches every year. While the company didn’t reveal the exact figures, it did apparently confirm to the media that the volume exceeds two trillion a year globally, meaning the number includes search requests on all country-specific domains, but does not include “Google Powered” searches on sites such as Yahoo.
Google’s numbers were always impressive right from the get-go, but over the years, the company has left its competitors trailing in its wake with a massive share of the market that has often resulted in allegations of monopolistic trade practices in the US, Europe and beyond. Google was conducting over one billion searches a year back in the late nineties, when the internet looked, felt and worked a lot different than it does now. That number apparently rose to a phenomenal 14 billion per year in 2000, and has been on an upward curve ever since. According to the Google Zeitgeist, the company handled over 55 billion searches per year between 2001 and 2003, and the figure rose to 73 billion by 2004, which is when the company came out with its IPO.
Google’s silence about actual statistics post-IPO means that there’s no reliable data to go by for the next few years. However, the statistics took a massive leap in 2009, when Google claimed to be doing over one billion searches per day, meaning, the company was conducting at least 365 million searches on a yearly basis. After a couple more years without any announcement regarding the number of search requests it was getting from users around the world, Google announced in 2012 that it was conducting over 100 billion searches on a monthly basis, meaning, at least 1.2 billion searches a year. Now that the company has officially declared that it has been performing “trillions” of searches every year, two trillion in the absolute least that one’s looking at, although, the actual number could potentially be much higher.