How does Google make money off Google Docs
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How does Google make money off Google Docs?

Can you remember when was the first time you’ve used Google Docs? Was it about 5 years ago? How about 10 years ago?

I started using Google Docs when I was in college. I thought the idea was pretty cool. I didn’t have Microsoft Office at the time and I wanted something free. I couldn’t pay for Microsoft’s tools since I was a broke college student and this gave me the ability to use an alternative to that.

I’ve been wondering for years and years why Google was offering this tool for free and why. Google has always provided their users with free options compared to the other non-free options in the past.

Today, it’s one of the most popular options for creating documents.

When was Google Docs introduced?

Google docs was first introduced in 2006. It was created as a web-based word processor offered by Google. Google has a number of other free tools as well including Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Keep, Google Forms, and Google Sites.

Google had created this tool to compete against Microsoft Office’s most popular tool Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word was originally at the time native software built specifically for the Windows operating system. However, it didn’t come standard with Windows. It was an add-on feature for a fee. Google Docs was not.

What set’s Google Doc’s apart as well, was that it was created as a web-based application. This means that the tool was not operating system specific. As long as you had a device that could browse the web, then you were good to go.

This was what mainly steered me towards Google Docs. It gave me so much freedom when I was in college. I didn’t have to go up to a public computer hoping that it would have Microsoft Word on it. I never had to worry about this again after I migrated all my files to Google Docs. It became really apparent, really fast that Google Doc’s was the wave of the future and it wasn’t going to slow down.

To this very day, almost 10 years after college, I’m still seeing more and more younger people still talking about Google Docs in school and sometimes in business. Just yesterday, my niece who’s in middle school right now has Google Docs as the official tool for word processing.

I’m still linked to some college alumni organizations and I can tell that when they send out documentation in Google Docs format. 

I also see my child, who is a kindergartener in virtual school using Google’s line of tools including Google Docs from Google Classroom and Google for Education.

How does Google generally make money?

Google was originally built on a company that created a better way to search the internet for relevant information and websites. A team of engineers and co-founders decided that the traditional way of how search engines worked didn’t exactly work well and decided to go out and create their own destiny’s. They ended up making the company Google.

Advertisement became the next step and it was one of the biggest breaks in keeping the company running. The way it works is that Google set out to provide other businesses with a way to reach more and more people for a certain fee. Because their search engine became so wildly popular since more and more people were using it, Google had the ability to leverage the market of businesses who wanted more exposure. Google turned advertisement in to their main source of income. They became extraordinarily good at it.

In relatively no time at all, Google started to gain a huge portion of the advertising market share on the internet. They were called an internet giant. They’re the biggest internet giant today.

They had these arms that could reach and cover huge territories because everyone was using their service. Google didn’t charge the users like you and I. To us, it’s free. We didn’t pay any monetary value. Nothing is taken from our wallets or purses when we Google searched anything on the internet. We would just get fast, reliable and extraordinarily accurate answers. Google’s search engine was so good that other search engines began to lose their users to Google.

Google found this as the business plan to where they’d have business pay them if they wanted to show themselves through ads on Google’s search platform.

Businesses wanted this and Google able to provide exactly what small and big businesses wanted.

Google now has multiple methods of revenue but to its core, it all ties down to advertising.

Does Google Docs have a paid service?

A little while later, Google decided to enter the corporate realm. A realm where they’d have their users pay for the same services plus a few extra perks and tools. This paid service guarantees no advertisement along with powerful security and even HIPAA certified tools.

These extra perks were all focused on the corporate world and met the standards and beyond for many companies.

These are not ad-supported products once you become a Google Workspace user. You won’t see any ads when using them.

Being a paid member unlocks many new features that correlate to corporate level customizations that the usual consumer might not understand.

This paid service is scheduled with monthly service charges which includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and other corporate apps unavailable to free and consumer Gmail users.

You also get even more storage space.

Google workspace logo
Google workspace logo

If you’re interested in seeing the pricing, it’s called Google Workspace. Check out the page here to see the different tiers of fees available for yourself or your business.

How exactly does Google make money from Google Docs?

You might have noticed that you’ve never once seen an ad placed anywhere on Google Docs. You can try to search all you want but you won’t find it there.

Google doesn’t actually make money at all from Google Docs. At least, not directly.

The goal here is to get more and more people online and using the internet to see the benefits of what Google is offering and then using more Google services that may potentially have advertisement. The more users who use Google’s tools and platform with or without ads, the more likely it is that this indirectly leads to user clicking on other services that may use Google advertisement and this will lead to more revenue for the company.

Google understands very well that the general public doesn’t like ads. You don’t have to tell them that. But this is how you and I are able to benefit from huge improvements in access to information.

Will Google Docs always be free?

The consumer version of Google Apps does not have any monthly charge. You even get 15GB of free storage to use until it runs out. You’ll either have opt into buying more or purging your data to make room for more space.

My bet is that Google will continue to make Google Docs absolutely free for now and in any foreseeable future. It’s the part that attracted me the most to Google. And I think this tactic is what has worked so well for Google. Give the people what they want and have them coming back for more. Well, that’s exactly what happened to me.

Even though I can remember that my first Google tool was Gmail, I was most appreciative of Google Docs. Google Docs was the start of something that made me gear towards Google.

Google has grown over the years. They’ve acquired huge services and opportunities. Google search is still the number one search engine in the world. It’s so widely popular that the company name itself was turned into a verb. Likely you’ve heard people say, “why don’t you Google it?” YouTube, another service owned by Google is the second largest search engine in the world.

There’s very little chance that Google will start charging for Google Docs now or anytime soon in the future. I just don’t see that happening.