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At least 2 trillion and less than a quadrillion!

Google did confirm that because it said it handles “trillions” of searches per year worldwide, the figure could be safely assumed to be two trillion or above. After all, you can’t do trillions of searches — plural — unless it’s two or more.

But is it more than two trillion? Google could be doing five trillion searches per year. Or 10 trillion. Or 100 trillion. Or presumably up to 999 trillion, because if it were 1,000 trillion, you’d expect Google would announce that it does a quadrillion searches per year – Yes, that’s the name for 1,000 trillion!

Google’s searches per year, over time
The actual trillions figure is probably close to the single or low double-digits. This assumption comes from what Google has claimed in the past. To understand that, let’s go through the history of what Google itself has said it handles in terms of searches per year.

An important note here: All the numbers below are those that Google itself claimed, not those from third parties. Also important: it’s easy to find sites claiming to show a year-by-year progression based on Google’s own figures on how Google’s searches have increased over time.

1999: one billion per year
2000: 14 billion
2001–2003: 55 billion+
2004–2008: 73 billion
2009: 365 billion+
2012–2015: 1.2 trillion
2016: two trillion+
2017: ????

For advertisers this is a great example of where your audience is and while traditional media is in steady decline, digital media continues its upward trend and there is nothing looking close to slowing this down in the future.


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