Google: More Than Your Average Search Engine

Google / Connie Zhou

The Google Server (photo by Google / Connie Zhou)

Google is a fabric of our daily lives.  The word itself has essentially replaced “go search for that on the internet.”  No one says, “Go Yahoo that.” So, what exactly is Google?  It is more than a simple search engine.  It is an advertising powerhouse with its hands on numerous productivity tools and the future of tech gadgets.

Google, as many software companies, had very humble beginnings.  Google was created in January of 1996 as a research project by Stanford Ph.D. students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  They came up with the name Google after a common misspelling of a googol,  which is a digit 1 followed by 100 zeros.  They chose this name, thankfully, over “Backrub.”

Google originally was placed on Stanford University’s site as google.stanford.edu. Eventually, Brin and Page incorporated Google in 1998.  Brin and Page were still graduate students at the time and thought that Google was taking up too much of their time from their studies.  They offered to sell the company for $1,000,000 to a venture capitalist who declined and even attempted to talk them down to $750,000.  Brin and Page refused and eventually received $25,000,000 in funding from a group of venture capital firms in 1999.  This funding was awarded when the investors saw the potential profits when Google first introduced advertisements earlier that year.  Brin and Page had initially refused to put advertisements on the site out of principle, but eventually decided it was the only way for Google to continue to grow.

Soon, the company began to grow exponentially and eventually became a public stock in 2004.  The stock opened at a meager $85 per share.  Google continued to grow and began merging and forming many partnerships with software companies and other search engines becoming an international force.  The stock for Google eventually ballooned to $700 in 2007 and has stayed around that number ever since.

Google is most famous for their search engine.  However, they have produced other great online tools such as Google Earth, Gmail, Google Translate, Google Docs, and Google Chrome.  Google has also expanded into the tech gadgets industry and have become chief rivals with Apple in the smart phone (with its Android) and tablet markets.  They have even tried to compete with Facebook with its social networking project, Google+.

Google is also known for its laid back corporate atmosphere.  Many of the Google’s executive board have a base salary of $1. Employees are not expected to wear suits to work. Google encourages engineers to spend 20% of their time on projects that interest them.  Google also has a fun and quirky environment at its Googleplex.  The Googleplex is scattered with a completely free 24/7 cafeteria, pool tables, ping-pong tables, lava lamps, pianos, and hallways full of exercise equipment.

Google will continue to be the king of search engines in the internet world.  Will Google’s endeavors in gadgets and social networking endeavors allow it to gain a monopoly on the tech world? That is yet to be seen.

all of the products owned and operated by Google (colbybrownphotography)

All of the products owned and operated by Google.
(image by colbybrownphotography)

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