Google has represented the frontier of new technologies and innovative ideas for years. At the base of the company is their browsing and analytic technologies, and as of late their cloud computing and AI ventures seem to be more and more promising.
It’s important to first look at part of what made Google what it is today. Analytics offer a way to look at a website in advanced ways, understanding traffic, customer value, heatmaps, and being able to look back at specific sessions on the website.
Google got into this business early, acquiring Urchin, the top analytics provider, in 2005. From there Google built Google Analytics, a quantitative heavy analytic solution. Universal Analytics was introduced as the new base behind the system in 2012. Universal Analytics assigned user ID’s that allowed tracking of users across different devices and platforms, creating more robust and accurate analytics.
By 2016 machine learning was implemented alongside Universal Analytics to further produce accurate and up-to-date analytics. Today around 28 million active websites use Google analytics. Although October of 2020 would mark the beginning of a big change in the system.
Google Analytics 4 (G4A) was the big change introduced at this time. This was a new alternative to Universal Analytics that had sweeping changes across the system. These changes tended to prioritize the combination of app and web analytics along with retaining information without compromising user privacy.
GA4 takes in more data compared to Universal Analytics, offers consent options and a consent mode, tracks more specific time intervals, and tracks mobile and web data in the same manner. It also just has a slew of new smaller features such as a debug mode and the exclusion of certain users in data collection.
Universal Analytics will be shutting down in 2023 in favor of G4A, but this is just one industry where Google is looking to revolutionize. Google is also one of the top investors in cloud computing, moving away from physical data centers and towards completely digital networks to save on carbon emissions.
Through cloud computing Google hopes to have carbon free energy for their network by 2030. Even now through the new Google Cloud, five Google data centers operate 90% carbon free. In 2020 Google’s data centers were operating at 67% carbon free energy.
This is a big set of changes that Google is also pairing with other companies to help them accomplish. In the same manner as their analytics, Google is offering a service that other corporations can then use to improve, either in analytic understanding or reducing carbon emissions. One other notable industry where this happens is the field of AI or artificial intelligence.
Google AI was founded in 2017 specifically to further AI based technology. This is applied in a lot of diverse ways. The most obvious are in the deep learning applications to Google services. The Google search engine now operates using AI, but so does Google Translate, YouTubes’ Safe Content, and Google Maps’ Driving Mode; these are all now AI powered services, at least in part.
On top of this a large part of Google AI is devoted to simple experiments in the field of Artificial Intelligence. These are simple explorations of what AI can do with music, facial features, and general recognition of patterns. It’s important for the general public but when 85% of executives believe AI presents a competitive advantage, it’s a clear way forward for the corporate world of today as well.
Google is one of the current industry leaders in creating technology that is applicable and practical. Importantly though they’re also one of the leading innovators in those same exact fields. The fields of analytics, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence are a few examples of places where Google is innovating.