What if there were no Google?

Google is Everywhere

Google has its tentacles in just about everything related to technology. Mobile devices and business are two more examples.

When it comes to smartphones, Google has transformed this market in a major way. Google's Android operating system, which is designed for mobile devices, is found on around 50 percent of recent phones [source: PCWorld]. Without Android's spread, Apple's iPhone might still have a stranglehold on the smartphone sector.

Businesses might also be different, as they wouldn't be able to rely on ubiquitous AdWords campaigns driven by Google to power their advertising efforts. So many companies depend on AdWords for revenue that Google took in around $28 billion from them in 2010 alone [source: Google].

And of course, without the effectiveness of Google, ordinary students could have a lot more digging to do when it comes to research. They might spend days, not hours, researching a finals paper to make sure they found the best and most relevant sources, plundering the depths of multiple search engines (which might return all sorts of varied and inconsistent results) instead of leaning on the reliability of just one Google. They wouldn't be able to search excerpts from nearly every book ever to grace library shelves via Google Books, the most expansive digitization of books ever.

Without all of those accessible-anywhere Google apps, like Calendar, Docs and Gmail, maybe the idea of storing all of your critical documents online (in "the cloud"), would still be in its infancy or reserved only for the most technically advanced users.

But the cloud keeps spreading thanks to Google. That's in large part due to Google's generous online storage (nearly 8 gigabytes for Gmail alone) and commitment to refining and updating its online apps. Both factors sway users into uploading swaths of their personal and professional lives into Google's (once again, free) products, which continue to chip away at Microsoft's Office market share [source: RescueTime].

Google is simply everywhere, and people seem more than willing to embrace just about any product the company offers. On the next page, you'll see that Google's bubbly and witty approach to tech is one reason that its users keep coming back for more.