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Google's dominance in search proves that you don't have to be the best, you just have to be the most convenient
Summary List Placement If you've bought a new iPhone in the past few years, you might...Summary List Placement If you've bought a new iPhone in the past few years, you might not think much about the fact that when you open Safari and type in a search the results you get come from Google. Most people use Google to search on the internet anyway — what you got was what you expected. It was familiar. It was also not an accident. It's been a poorly-kept secret that Google pays Apple a lot of money for the privilege of being the default search option on iPhones, iPads, and Macs. What we didn't know, but do as a result of the Department of Justice lawsuit against the search giant filed on Tuesday, was just how much Google pays. According to the DOJ, it's roughly $10 billion a year. Considering that Apple's devices account for half of all of Google's search traffic in the US, according to the lawsuit, it's no wonder the company is willing to pay. The deal is lucrative on both ends: Analysts at AllianceBernstein estimated that Google earns $25 billion annually in gross revenue — or 18% of its ad revenues — from Apple devices, while the DOJ also reported that Apple collects anywhere between $8 billion and $12 billion from Google each year, accounting for 17% and 26% of Apple's services revenue. Being the default option has benefits. Sure, you can change the search engine in Safari, it isn't even that hard. Even easier, you could simply type in the URL for another search engine. Except, and this is important, almost no one does. From the DOJ lawsuit: "For a general search engine, by far the most effective means of distribution is to be the preset default general search engine for mobile and computer search access points. Even where users can change the default, they rarely do. This leaves the preset default general search engine with de facto exclusivity. As Google itself has recognized, this is particularly true on mobile devices, where defaults are especially sticky." This is true of search engines and almost everything else about the devices and software we use on a daily basis. That's because — by design — the default settings are the most useful choice for the greatest number of people. It doesn't mean they're the actual best option, just that whoever built the device or the software felt like it would meet the needs of most users. As a result, most people never change the default settings on any device they use. It's more convenient to just use the default. They don't require you to think about how to use something — you just use it. In fact, it turns out that convenience is even more of a driving factor for most people than quality in many cases. We may not acknowledge it, but let's be honest, that's why fast food is a thing. That reality is also why companies work very hard to become the default. They will go through great effort to gain that position. Sometimes it happens because something is easier to use. Sometimes it's because it genuinely offers a better product or experience. Sometimes, they just spend large amounts of money through arrangements like the one between Google and Apple. The goal is the same — be the most convenient option for the most users and most people won't look elsewhere. Starbucks, by the way, did the same thing. I like Starbucks coffee, but not because it's the best coffee you can buy. It's because they're everywhere. They also have a convenient app you can use to order what you want in advance, then walk in or drive up to whatever store happens to be on the way and just pick up your coffee. Because there will always be a Starbucks on the way to wherever you're going. The joke is that there are places where you can stand on a corner and look around and see multiple Starbucks locations on opposite sides of the street. It's a joke, but it's also true. There's also a good chance there's one inside your grocery store. That's convenient. Google grew, at first, because it was better than other options. It attracted users because its minimalistic design was fast and simple to use. That was a big deal at a time when the speed of your internet connection was still measured in bits per second. It also did a better job of discerning whether a website was a relevant and trustworthy result for whatever a user was searching for. There's a problem, however. Once you become the default option for whatever market you compete in, the incentive to be better decreases. Instead, the incentive is to maintain your position. Hence the $10 billion each year that Google is reportedly paying Apple. That $10 billion didn't make Google's search better. It didn't increase the quality of the results you get when you type something into the field at the top of your browser. It just bought the default position. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Google's search results aren't nearly as neutral as you might think, in many cases pointing you to other Google properties. Anyone who's noticed the increasing number of ads at the top of the search results page would probably agree it's not a better experience for users. It's far easier for Google to skip the argument over which search engine is actually the best and simply pay money to be the default. Bing and DuckDuckGo are perfectly good search engines, but neither has better than single digit share of the search market. Even Microsoft, a company worth more than a trillion dollars, hasn't been able to make Bing a real competitor to Google. Google is the default. It's not exactly the most noble strategy, but it works. Of course, if you don't like that, you could change the default — but you probably won't.SEE ALSO: Quibi's biggest mistake was not knowing who its audience was — if it hadn't tried to beat TikTok and YouTube it might have stood a chance Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What it takes to become a backup dancer for Beyoncé
You need to prove your 'Googleyness' if you want to get a job at Google. Here's how to show off this most desired personality trait during your interview.
Google is one of the most desireable places to work, regularly topping Glassdoor's "Best Places to...Google is one of the most desireable places to work, regularly topping Glassdoor's "Best Places to Work" list. When considering who to bring on, the company looks for someone who has these four traits and weighs them equally: mastery of the actual role, cognitive ability (how smart you are), Googleyness, and leadership ability (even if you're not applying for a managerial role). Because many of the leadership traits Google looks for are the same as the Googleyness traits, Googleyness really accounts for a lot more than one-fourth of your score as a potential hire. Display Googleyness into your interview process by staying positive, highlighting ways you took an unconventional route, and being honest and asking for help when you need it. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Want to land a job at Google? A lot of people do. The tech giant is a highly desirable workplace, with average salaries of more than $116,00 according to the compensation site PayScale, along with annual bonuses and signing bonuses in some cases. Then there are the company's legendary perks, which included things like lavish food and free massages before the pandemic struck. More recently, Google gave its employees who work remotely $1,000 each to spend on their home offices. No wonder the company regularly makes it onto lists of the best places to work--it's number 11 in Glassdoor's ranking this year. And the company is constantly filling both technical and non-technical jobs all across the United States and around the world. What does it take to get hired at Google? You need to be skilled at the job you're applying for, but that only counts for 25% of the company's hiring decision, according to Jose Pinero, a career coach who helps job seekers land jobs at Google and other tech giants. Twenty-five percent is based on general cognitive ability--in other words, how smart you are--and another 25% is based on what they call "Googleyness," or whether your personality is a good fit for Google. A final 25% is based on an assessment of your leadership abilities, even if you're not applying for a managerial role. But since many of the leadership traits Google looks for are the same as the Googleyness traits, Googleyness really accounts for a lot more than one-fourth of your score as a potential hire. In a video at the Life at Google YouTube channel, Brinleigh Murphy-Reuter, a business recruiter at Google, describes Googleyness as "comfort with ambiguity, bias to action and a collaborative nature." That's not a lot go go on, but fortunately Jeff H. Sipe, an interview coach at Practice Interviews and a former recruiter who spent five years hiring people for Google provides a lot more detail in a video of his own. Sipe identifies 21 qualities that make up Googleyness, including positivity, humility, friendliness, playfulness, being a life-long learner, having a high EQ (emotional intelligence), courtesy, and valuing yourself and others. So how do you display these desired traits during the interview process? 1. Be nice to everyone and stay positive. Remember that all your interactions, including with cafeteria employees and receptionists (if the interview is on site), may be included in your evaluation. So will your answers to questions that may seem like small talk, such as "How are you doing?" or "Did you have a good weekend?" Pinero says. You will likely be faced with questions designed to elicit negativity, such as, "Tell me about a time you encountered a problem?" or "What do you dislike about having a manager?" he adds. Don't take the bait--keep your answer upbeat. "They are testing your Googleyness," he says. "Will you speak negatively about your former manager or blame other people?" Doing either will raise a red flag at a Google interview. 2. Highlight anything unusual about your career. Google is looking for people who follow an unusual path, Sipe says, so left turns in your career that you might normally downplay can actually help you. For example, did you quit a high-level job at a large company to launch a startup that failed? "Good!" he says. "That is a Googleyness item because Google will understand that first of all, you're not risk-averse, and secondly, you probably learned a ton." You can also get Googleyness points if, for instance, you had to drop out of high school, but got your GED and then learned coding on your own. 3. Show comfort with ambiguity. "Googleyness is really about embracing and finding joy in and appreciating the unknown," Sipe says in his video. "The interviews will challenge your ability to problem-solve with limited information." With that in mind, he says, "It's going to really, really show up if you don't show frustration, if you continue to work through and problem-solve." You can also display your comfort with ambiguity when the interview doesn't go as planned, for instance if you're moved from one conference room to another or if your video interview runs into technical difficulties, or if your interviewer is late. "When candidates got shifted around and had to move around during their interview days and they didn't let it bother them, it really, really showed up positively in the feedback," Sipe notes. 4. Don't pretend you know more than you do. Ask for help instead. Transparency is part of Googleyness, so this is the wrong time to fake it till you make it. "To pretend you know something you don't is a red flag. It's essentially inflating your experience or knowledge," says Grechen Jacobi, head of career services at Flatiron School, which teaches people to code and helps them land jobs at tech companies, including Google. "It's really important, if you're going to pass the Googleyness test, when you don't know something, don't say nothing," she says. For instance, if confronted with a coding language you don't know, say something like, "I'm not deep on that but I know about this, is it similar?" she advises. "Ask clarifying questions. Ask for help. They'll probably help you." If you really want to shine, win extra points by following up later about whatever it was, she advises. "To show you're curious, go do a bit of research. Build something with it or write a blog post about what you've learned and then send it to your interviewer. Say, 'I was curious about that thing we talked about and I wanted to show this to you.'" Keep in mind that the purpose of the interview is not for you to have all the right answers, it's for you to demonstrate how you handle situations where you don't, she and other experts agree. So, even if you're frustrated, stay positive, talk through your thinking as you try to solve the problem, and just do your best. Remember that Google is looking to hire lifelong learners, not know-it-alls. "They want to help you," Jacobi says. "They're interviewing you because they want to find a great teammate."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly