Search and ye shall find
It would be easy to become entangled and lost in the criss-crossing mess of hyperlinks that makes up the internet were it not for helpful search engines. Google (Australia's most accessed site, according to web information firm Alexa) and its ilk, such as Sensis, make the web comprehensible, gathering all the random and disparate web pages into neat listings for those who have lost their way. Launched in 1998, Google became the unmatched leader of search by 2001 and, in perhaps the ultimate brand accomplishment, has become a commonly used verb in the English language. As the king of the search, Google can point the way to the closest pizza place, to a web site about the history of pizza, or to an instructional video on how to make pizza. But Google is also exploring new trends in internet use with various specialized searches and ever-enhanced features for the savvy user.
In the last several years, several industry giants have looked to dip into Google's market dominance, as former Google client Yahoo! launched its own search engine based on a number of acquired companies and technologies, as did MSN, owned by Microsoft, which also relied on other companies to provide its search engine listings in the past. Search engines garner their revenue via ads targeted by keyword and sales of advertising placement to affiliated web sites.