Did you get invited to Google's
However, that humble domain name obviously marked the start of something great. In just 10 years, Google has become the global leader in online advertising, and a menace to any company trying to matter in the search space. This company generated $3.1 billion in profit last year, on a robust $10.6 billion in revenue.
Google is a part of any Internet user's life. Even if you've entirely avoided the Google.com landing page over the years -- and if you are, the Smithsonian wants you -- you've probably come across Google's network of content-targeted ads, which wallpaper the Web via its Google AdSense program. If not, there's a YouTube video with your name on it.
Google doesn't have to turn 10 to earn your respect, though. It was just seven when Microsoft
That's intimidation. That's respect. That's Big G.
Party on, G
So if I'm all set on attending a party that even Google doesn't know it's throwing, I may as well offer up a few party games to keep things interesting. Let me know how you feel about some of these:
Pin the tail on the Yahoo!
Google has humbled Yahoo!
(NASDAQ:YHOO)since going public, perpetually gaining market share at its search rival's expense. Thankfully for the other major Internet search site, Yahoo!'s got some neat things cooking up to hopefully end this degrading game.
Google's rise began with its algorithmically superior search engine. After that, Big G became a webmaster darling, offering brainless monetization through its AdSense contextual marketing program. Google's cut of the resulting ad revenue accounted for 35% of Google's top line this past quarter (though far less of the bottom-line profit).
Doesn't the company always seem to be riding all of the hot trends? It bought Blogger before blogging was cool. It sees companies like Salesforce.com
(NYSE:CRM)making waves with Web-based applications, so it rolls out its own suite of apps. When it saw that it was late to the video-sharing craze, it simply forked over $1.65 billion to buy the leader. That's hot.
Duck, Duck, Noose
No party wouldn't be complete without exploring the dark side of the "do no evil" mantra. From Viacom's
(NYSE:VIA)$1 billion lawsuit for YouTube copyright infringement, to Microsoft's accusations that Google poached a key executive in China, you're not great until others point out that you're not always great. Besides, China is one of the few places where Google isn't the top dog, as it plays in Baidu.com's (NASDAQ:BIDU)shadow.
The life of the search party
Come to think of it, limbo's just about the only party game Google hasn't whipped out yet. Its share price is certainly not bowing down, and the company's margins are hardly knee-high. Even when it comes to earnings expectations, Google's been more likely to leap over the bar than go under it. It's trounced Wall Street's numbers in all but two quarters since going public in the summer of 2004.
Happy birthday, Google. That decade went by quickly, but I don't envy the search firm now. When you're on top of the world before puberty even kicks in, it must be hard to fathom an answer to the ultimate question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Microsoft has made the cut as an Inside Value stock pick. Yahoo! is a Stock Advisor recommendation. Baidu.com is a Rule Breakers pick. So many newsletters, so little time? Don't worry. You can check them out for free for the next 30 days with trial subscription offers.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers his tenth birthday. He can still taste the Carvel cake and the chicken pox that came 'round the corner. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy is handing out noisemakers.