What is Google's Business Model and How Does Alphabet Make Money?


What comes to mind when you hear the word Google?

Perhaps it’s a number, a search engine, or one of the most powerful companies in the world.

Google’s parent company Alphabet is one of the richest in the world and owns nearly a third of the 50 most popular websites in the US. In this video, we’re going to break down exactly how Alphabet makes its money, and how its business model goes way beyond just delivering fast search results. is just one part of a much bigger company known as Alphabet.

Back in 2015, the company created Alphabet to allow for a corporate restructuring that put all of Google’s internet properties in one basket, and the company’s nascent ventures – including biotech, healthcare, and artificial intelligence – in another basket.
Alphabet’s Other Bets like self-driving company Waymo and life sciences arm Verily get a lot of headlines, but they don’t really do much for the business.

In 2018, Alphabet brought in almost $137 billion. The company’s “Other Bets” segment contributed just $600 million in revenue.
All told, the company made over $30B in net income in 2018 and Alphabet’s Google segment did the heavy lifting – but Google is a free search engine, and consumers don’t have to pay anything to use the company’s Maps or YouTube properties either.
So where does all that money come from?

Google has turned the search for information and entertainment into an ad machine that prints money.

70% of Alphabet’s revenue comes from Google search and user activity on platforms like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Play, and YouTube. The vast majority of that money comes from ads.
When you use Google to search for something like wireless headphones, you’re served up refined web results… and advertisements. Same goes for your Gmail inbox.

These ads cost money to tailor and put in front of you, and Google is cashing in on that process every time it happens on its properties AND on some other sites.

Google works hard to make sure ads are as relevant to their users as possible.

The company allows for ad targeting using an auction process based on several variables like advertising bids, quality, and relevance. Bidding takes place quickly and often; many businesses are surprised to find that they need to increase their advertising budgets just to keep up with demand. Naturally, this is good both for Google and for its paying advertisers.

Here’s a graphic of how the Google advertising auction process works:

Ads vary in price depending on a keyword’s popularity. For example, a lot of people search Google for professional services like insurance, loans, and attorneys. The demand and the high dollar value of these searchers allows Google to charge more to advertise in these search results. Google will collect around $54 for an ad on with the word “insurance” included in a search, while the average ad spot comes in at around the $1 mark.

But Alphabet’s business model isn’t all about lightning quick advertising auctions. Since the company has built out an arsenal of highly popular software and social sites, including YouTube, Gmail, and Google Play, the company continues to gain new users — and advertisers — every single day.

It’s now estimated that Google has about two billion monthly users, which translates to 3.5 billion searches every day. As of 2019, Alphabet has approximately 90% of search engine market share globally.

It might surprise you to learn that more than 50% of that revenue comes from abroad. Even though international search engines like China’s Baidu are successful in their own right, most of the world uses Google.

Alphabet’s product popularity almost seems too big to fathom. Google Chrome remains the U.S.’s most popular web browser. Nearly 2 billion people use Google’s android mobile operating system. 1.5 billion people use G-Mail, making it the world’s most popular email service.

Alphabet’s family of powerhouse apps have shaped the way people find information and consume content. And the money they generate allows the company to test new technology that could shape the future. Alphabet is working on everything from glucose sensing contact lenses to self driving cars.

So advertising is the moneymaker for Alphabet… for now.

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Robert Dunfee


  1. Life under the bus podcast
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

  2. Retropaganda
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    1:43 : Am I the only one who's annoyed watching people who don't use all their fingers and keep them far above the keyboard, forming spider legs? I find it inelegant. Moreover, pushing every key two or three times reveals that's it's just some stupid fake shot.

    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Please make a video on Google's accounts payable and receivable systems. To what extent their accounting systems are automated. How payments are disbursed to YouTube Content producers. Their Direct and Indirect tax handling system and return filing system.

  4. Simon Desrochers
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    can you do Roku 🙂

  5. Horazon
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Great video. Qualcomm plz. AMD too.

  6. jeffrey dahmere
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    I remember the first time I listened to their web conference finance report , and I was very shocked to see how much they depend on ads , I mean its a marketing company behind all that tech

  7. Scott D. Clary - Business & Startup Education
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Awesome Video!

  8. Burps
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Please breakdown SalesForce (Ticker CRM, I think). I hear it’s name all the time, but what does it do? Thank you.

  9. Nadeem Shaikh
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    I know their business models but I would love for you guys to cover the business models of Microsoft and Amazon. Excellent video! I learned nothing new but could clearly see how it would be very interesting to other people 👍

  10. Tom F.
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    G00D SL0GAN: G00GL3 CAN G0 F.AC.E.B.00 K. THElR SELVES !

  11. Alejandro Radilla
    July 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Greetings, how can I invest in this company? How much? And when will I see my return ? I'll appreciate your answer, thanks.