Of the thousands of stocks one can invest in, there are only a handful that you can reliably invest in and plan to hold for life. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is one of those companies. The world’s largest search engine has the coveted one-two punch: a sustainable edge over the competition, and culture of innovation. The makes Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock as close to a “must own” as you can find.
Who doesn’t use the Big G?
To appreciate what the company has been able to accomplish over a relatively short period of time, take a look at how Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has wrested global market share for search from Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s MSN Search, Windows Live Search, and now Bing — all while holding Chinese search giant Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) at bay.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has lost some ground internationally because of its decision to back out of China, where Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) now dominates. Overall, however, its global market share is 12 times larger than the next competitor, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)
That type of dominance is important for two key reasons. First, it means that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is collecting more information on more users — by an enormous margin — every day. Google can turn that information around and ensure that users get a search experience tailored to their personal desires.
Just as important, because Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has all of this information, it is able to offer advertisers the most efficient use for placement of their Internet advertisements. Because Google is the only entity that has all of this information, businesses are more than willing to pay for Google’s AdSense services.
Not resting on its laurels
If Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) were content to be King of Search, it would still make a good investment. But it’s the fact that CEO and co-founder Larry Page keeps pushing the company to become more that makes Google a great investment.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has a well-documented 20% time policy. It allows employees to spend 20% of their work time on any Google-related project that they like — and doesn’t need to be directly related to their day-to-day duties. This innovative time has unleased a plethora of products for the company: Gmail, Google Maps, and Chrome, to name a few.
That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised to hear about Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) developing Google Glass, or self-driving automobiles. Some of these projects may turn out to be duds, but that’s not the point. The point is that Google will continue to drive innovation. If only one of every 10 ideas makes it to market and is a hit, then Google — and its shareholders — are the big winners.