This all goes back to what Google was at its core when it first started, compared to what Alphabet is now. Back in 1998 “Google.com” was launched - the search engine that we all know today. Back in ‘98 Google was the search engine, there wasn’t anything else.
In 2000 things change when Google introduces Adwords. That’s the first inkling of Google becoming something bigger than itself, although it is still heavily tied back to Search. The next real change comes with the introduction of Google Appliance, essentially a dedicated document indexing server.
With Appliance, Google is still well within the core field of Search but already back in 2002 it is moving into the hardware space. As time goes on Google continues to develop and acquire businesses, however these are almost all in some way focused on Search. That is up until 2005, which is a big year for Google with both the launch of Google Maps and the acquisition of Android.
Without underestimating the importance of Google Maps, the link back to the core Search business is pretty clear. It’s Android that shows Google really moving beyond Search and into other markets. Let’s not forget that Android now has ~80% market share. That’s staggering and it’s not surprising that Google should seek to replicate this success.
Jump forward to 2014 and we see Google purchase Nest for 3.2bn. Google continues to grow to include more outside of Search, such as Sidewalk Labs, Calico and Google Ventures. The list goes on and will keep on getting bigger.
What is clear is that “Google” has outgrown Search. It doesn’t make sense for all these companies to fall under the umbrella of a part of the business which is becoming a smaller share of the overall company. It made sense to have Google 'X' when it was all connected back to Search, but this is no longer the case.
Moving forwards Alphabet will house Google just as it does Sidewalks, Nest and everything else. Search will be the focus of Google just as it’s always been. However, it won’t be the focus of Alphabet. Alphabet will have its fingers in many pies, and I’ll venture will be around long after both Google and Search are dead and buried.