There are well over 1 billion sites on the world wide web. While the exact number of websites keeps changing every second, a recent Netcraft Web Server Survey found that there 1,196,298,727 as of September 2020. Given this overwhelming number of websites, it is becoming increasingly difficult and competitive for average websites to get found on Google let alone show up on the first page. The problem is further compounded by Google’s frequent updates to its search algorithm.

Have you ever wondered how some websites showed up on the first page of Google and others are not? Search experts would tell you all you have to do is to have great content with the best SEO and you’re on your way to rank at the top of Google. Some other sites went the black hat route which may get them banned by Google. That all look simple on the surface but it is not as easy as it sounds.

Regardless of how you go about getting your website on the first page of Google, some powerful companies, just as they dominate the media, finance, and politics, have found ways to dominate Google search results by acquiring existing websites that are already dominating their different verticals. The acquired companies, in turn, pass on the “traffic juice” to other brands within their conglomerate of brands. What we see is an illusion of search diversity. For the most part, Google rankings are actually controlled by just a few powerful companies.

“The huge diversity we perceive in Google search results is once again controlled by a few large corporations.”

In extensive and detailed research carried out Detailed.com, an SEO analytics site, the author revealed how the huge diversity we perceive in Google search results is once again controlled by a few large corporations. With specificity and in-depth research, Detailed showed how just 16 core companies are dominating the most popular industries online and how that situation is going to get a whole lot worse.

Even though the article was written more than two years ago and the search engine world has changed since then, the fundamental still remains the same. One of the 16 companies is Hearst, a company you probably never heard of. Hearst is the owner of 17 popular web brands including PopularMechanics, Cosmopolitan, CountryLiving, Elle, and 13 others.

According to the article, these corporations acquire existing brands that are ranking well on Google and later on use the combined brands to “game Google” and rank a new website of theirs very quickly, using slightly shady practices.” Having these brands under the same roof gives each of these 16 major companies an unfair advantage. It also makes it very hard for small companies to compete in any of these verticals.

Hearst is not alone. Time, Vox, Verizon, and 12 other corporations are using the same tactics to control what you see on Google. That being said, below are the 16 companies dominating the Google search results.

 

Below is another infographic (created by diagraming company Creately) of the 16 companies that dominate Google search results for the most popular industries, such as technology, food, software, automotive, health, etc.

 




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