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Google picked as top e-commerce development of past decade

July 16, 2007

The BlackBerry, iTunes, Wi-Fi also on trade group’s top 10 list

By Linda Rosencrance – ComputerWorld

Computerworld – It probably comes as no surprise that Google was selected as the No. 1 development in e-commerce over the past 10 years by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), an industry trade group.

“But the list also includes several e-commerce tools that have become so commonplace, we almost forget they didn’t exist 10 years ago,” said Ken Wasch, president of the SIIA, in a statement.

Last week, the group released its top 10 e-commerce developments since the White House released the Framework for Global Electronic Commerce 10 years ago.

The SIIA’s top 10 e-commerce developments were selected by policy and industry experts from a larger list culled by the SIIA staff. Here are the top 10:

1. Google (launched September 1998): “Google did more to fundamentally change the way we use the Internet than any other event in the last 10 years,” the SIIA said. Thirty percent of users turn to Google to help them find information on the Internet, and nearly one-half of 6.9 billion online searches conducted by Americans in February were on Google.

2. Broadband (June 2004): Available and affordable broadband penetration reached 50% among U.S. users in 2004. Although it took nearly four years for broadband to reach this milestone, the SIIA said estimates indicate that by the end of this year, broadband penetration among U.S. users will reach 90%.

3. eBay auctions (launched September 1997): “EBay showed us that the Internet could be used to reach massive national — and even global — markets better and faster than ever before,” the SIIA said.

4. Amazon.com (initial public offering May 1997): The SIIA said Amazon popularized online shopping because it’s Web site was easy to use and offered customers a wide variety of products from which to choose. “It signaled the increasingly important role that e-commerce would play in the American economy,” the SIIA said.

5. Google Ad Words (2000): Keyword advertising represents 40% of the online advertising market, bringing in $6.8 billion in revenue annually, the SIIA said. “Keyword ads are the simplest and most cost-effective mechanism to reach targeted audiences, affordable to even the smallest business,” the group said.

6. Open standards (HTML 4.0 released in 1997): Overseen by the World Wide Web Consortium, the HTML open standards are the “most influential and important data standard in the history of publishing,” according to the SIIA.

7. Wi-Fi (802.11 launched in 1997): The development of this form of wireless networking allowed business users to be connected to their clients and their companies no matter where they were and paved the way for more mobile technologies.

8. User-generated content (YouTube in 2005): “Right now it is impossible to say what the full ramifications of the ‘citizen journalist’ era will be — but the dramatic impact of YouTube tells us more than any other recent development,” the SIIA said. YouTube is what Web 2.0 should be, the trade group said: Anyone, anywhere can use You Tube to deliver a message that will be heard and seen around the globe.

9. iTunes (2001): “ITunes legitimized the digital music industry, revolutionizing the music industry,” the SIIA said. In 2006, more than $2 billion worth of music was sold online or through mobile phones, almost double what was sold in 2005, the group said.

10. BlackBerry (1999): “The BlackBerry makes communication instantaneous, and mobile,” the SIIA said. The Internet-connected device has allowed users to engage in e-commerce anywhere and launched a whole mobile culture, the group said.