Google’s Notorious Rise

Google Inc., the world’s most-used Internet search engine, expects as much as 40 percent of business transactions to be conducted on the Web, or influenced by it, in 10 years time as more consumers go online. Use of the Internet will continue to increase with wider access, more opportunities to create user-generated content and increased storage capacity, Google’s Vice-President for European Operations Nikesh Arora said today at a Confederation of British Industry conference in London. Only 16 percent of the world’s population, or about 1 billion people, are online, but that 16 percent represents 85 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, he said. In the U.K. broadband penetration may rise to 75 percent by the end of the decade from 60 percent now, said Arora.

“There was a time when people were loath to touch the Internet because they were scared of credit-card fraud” and misuse of data, Arora said. “Now what is fascinating is people are beginning to use the Internet when they are looking for convenience. The first port of call happens to be the Web.”

Unlike in the high street, consumers haven’t yet decided which brands they “like” on the Internet, which gives businesses a “huge” opportunity, Arora said.

“You can go ahead and create a brand preference in their minds if you actually spend some time thinking about how to treat the Internet as part of the overall media-making, as part of the overall customer-engagement opportunity,” he said.

The Internet also gives businesses the chance to target consumers in a variety of different countries, he said.