Nowadays when we are not able to answer a question or to do something, we simply ask Google. This internet giant has become tremendously important over the years, to the extent of having its own verb: to Google. This situation is not surprising since this giant has been acquiring different types of successful businesses over the years.

Each acquisition Google has made has helped it become the strong and reliable company that we know today. Google stopped being just a common-use searching engine and became a communication, storage and navigation giant, among other things.

Google was launched in 1998, and over almost 20 years it has acquired at least 170 companies to serve its interests in different fields. Most people don’t realize it, but apps such as Waze, Picasa and Youtube belong to Google. Anyone who has a smart device or a computer interacts with Google apps on a daily basis.

Obviously, most acquisitions Google has made have cost a significant amount of money. This makes Google one of the companies who has spent more money on acquisitions in the world. According to the website Business Insider, Google has spent more than USD $25 billion on acquisitions.

In this article, we will share a list of some of the most important and expensive acquisitions Google has made over the years.

  1. Motorola

This is probably one of the most important and expensive acquisitions Google has made. The communications giant bought Motorola for $12.5 billion dollars in 2011 and then sold it for $2.91 billion dollars two years later.

To many individuals, this situation still remains a mystery. However, many experts and bloggers speculate that Google did this because of Motorola’s patents. This way, they giant lost a few billion dollars but gained numerous valuable patents that represent a much bigger asset than owning a company that manufactures phones.

This not only proves how wealthy and powerful Google is. It also shows that thanks to its business moves and acquisitions, it can be the leader in the smartphones industry without even owning a company dedicated to producing smartphones.

  1. DoubleClick

In 2007 Google managed to position itself as the biggest online advertiser. This was possible thanks to the acquisition of a company knows as DoubleClick.

DoubleClick offered Google not only the opportunity to use a top-notch software made to advertise things online, but it also allowed Google to establish a close relationship with publishers. This made Google stronger in a field that was before controlled by other companies, such as Microsoft.

  1. Youtube

There is only one searching engine that can compete with Google and it is Youtube. In 2005 Google spot Youtube as a one-year-old company that was becoming exceedingly important for those who wanted to share or watch videos online.

Image courtesy of Esther Vargas at Flickr.com

Once it was spotted, it didn’t take long for Google to pay $1.6 billion dollars to buy the video-sharing company. Since that day, Google has applied multiple strategies that have allows Youtube become as powerful as Google itself.

The purchase of Youtube is very important in Google’s history of acquisitions since it was the first big purchase done by Google. It also proves Google’s ability to buy potentially successful companies, given the fact that Youtube wasn’t actually that profitable by the moment Google bought. It.

  1. Waze

Even though Google has its own GPS service (Google Maps), in 2013 Google decided to buy Waze for $966 million dollars, the GPS service that allows individuals to engage with maps in real time. The strategy was simple; Google wanted to buy a company capable of holding a relationship with its users in real time. Therefore, it didn’t hesitate when it encountered Waze.

When we are stuck in the traffic, many of us tend to look at Waze’s maps in order to see if there is something reported out there. This is possible thanks to the app characteristics that allow users to share current traffic information with other users and make comments about it.

This type of technology and strategies would be later on used by Google in some of its signature apps, such as the equally useful Google Maps.

  1. Nest Labs

In 2014 Google decided to invest $3.2 billion dollars buying the security systems company Nest Labs. After a year of being bought, Nest Labs had become five times as big as it was when Google bought it.

Also, in 2015 Google announced that it will split from Nest Labs and would handle both companies as subsidiaries of Alphabet Inc (Google’s parent). This way, both companies would be part of a successful restructuring process that would count with the support of over 76,000 employees.

Future to come

Google’s future to come is unknown. However, many individuals speculate that the giant will buy successful companies such as Spotify or Netflix. This may be a tough call since the same predictions are being made about Facebook and other online giants.

Despite what the outcome may be, it is undeniable that Google is one of the biggest companies in the present day, and part of its success is due to the different acquisitions it has made over the years.

Related: Is it time to restructure your company? By Suzzanne Uhland

* Featured Image courtesy of grostoryeu at Flickr.com