You forgot one thing...
the most notable function that Google provides to the WWW is NOT search - it is advertising revenue. There were other search engines (AltaVista anyone?) before Google. What Google did was index the web in a way that was relevant not just for search users, but also for ADVERTISERS, via their link scores.
This totally transformed the web income model, as now their was an objective metric for a site's popularity besides mere page hits. It also allowed semantic linking of a web site to relevant content, via AdWords.
What this has done is enabled about a gazillion web sites to be advertising funded, rather than paywall, subscription, or simply non funded at all. Which has dramatically increased the move of a whole lot of content on-line in an astonishing short amount of time. Which has enormously benefited the human race, as now we can get info on things in lighting fast times that is up-to-date, comprehensive, and even socially filtered. We are connected in ways that a generation ago would seem incomprehensible (and I know, because I span those generations).
THAT has been the uplift of Google's indexing, and one that TBL's specification of a functional index could not have accomplished...
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