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King Google

Google is worth billions because it delivers readers to advertisers better than any other media outlet—despite not always being the best search engine

By Andrew Brown   December 2005

The Search by John Battelle (Nicholas Brealey, £25)

If Google were to disappear tomorrow, how much difference would it make to the world? Google does things that are indispensable to anyone using a computer in the modern world. Until you sit down and enumerate them, it isn’t obvious just how vast the company’s reach could be.

Here is my own shortlist: as well as the obvious internet searching, which I do maybe 30 or 40 times a day, Google supplies the maps and directions when I want to take a journey; it organises the pictures on my hard disk and…

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