Google got big because it’s good. No matter what you’re looking for (including fluffy puppies), Google can help you find it -- fast.

Screenshot by Nathan Chandler

"Google" Might Still Be a Word Only Math Nerds Know

There's no question that the Internet would look different sans Google. Perhaps without the mathematical and programming wizardry of co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, no other company would've developed search savvy on par with Google's. And if no one had created such a search engine, it's hard to say how profoundly different your Web experiences might be.

Maybe the Web would have a much more fractured structure and be harder to navigate, with an untold number of hidden nooks and crannies accessible only to geeks with superior research skills -- in other words, the kind of people who understood how to dig past the limitations of older and more basic keyword-based search engines. Less geeky folks might rely on a site such as Yahoo as their Web portal, using its directories and browsing capabilities to guide surfing, shopping and studying.

Absent Google, the Internet might not have wormed its way so quickly into every aspect of our lives. Maybe, just maybe, the constantly-connected landscape of smartphones and digital dependency wouldn't have expanded to the extent that it has.

Think about it. Google's proficiency and expertise has changed the way you interact with the world around you. Without it, you might have to remember more things, instead of pulling out your phone to Google (as a verb) the instant answer. Because if you had to fiddle with your phone for five minutes (instead of five seconds), there's a good chance you'd either give up or look elsewhere for the answer to your question.

Then again, what if Google had turned into just another rank-and-file search engine that joined so many other tools in the Web’s dustbin? Perhaps without a solid marketing and business plan, another Silicon Valley duo would’ve stolen Google’s momentum and created an entirely different phenomenon. And maybe your Internet experiences would be even better than they are now.

But Google is everywhere, and accessing it is easy anywhere you have Web access. On the next page, find out how Google's omnipresence changes our world.