Google is a pioneer as far as creating a search algorithm that is more 'human'. Back in the day, web search results were based on the keywords and meta data that webmasters put in their code. That means, when users typed in a search of 'sneakers' anything and everything would appear. This made for a very unstable and unreliable search result and people did not think of it as a tool.
Google created a more organic search algorithm that pushed spam sites further down on the list and more relevant websites to the top. In the end, this made for a better search result and slowly people started relying more on the search engine for accurate answers. By creating a reliable user experience, they 'organically' became popular. Not only did they build a brand; they built an entire user experience. The Google developers are always updating and revamping the algorithm to make it more user friendly.
Just recently in September, they launched Hummingbird. This recognizes search terms in a more 'human' way. It focuses on words like 'who, what, where, when and how'. Previously you could type is "how do I cook tofu" and results would return the explanation of what is tofu. But now, it will begin to recognize that users are not asking what it is, but how to do something with it.
Yes, Google was here first, but they are well known and loved because of the user experience they offered and continue to offer.