How Does Google Work?

Founded in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google is the world’s leading internet search engine. It uses a proprietary algorithm to retrieve and order search results to provide the most relevant and dependable sources of data possible. Its ubiquity is such that it’s used as a verb; for example, when someone does something online, they might say that they “Googled it.” The company also offers other products and services including hardware, cloud computing, mobile applications, and advertising.

Google handles more than 70 percent of worldwide search requests, making it one of the most influential companies in the high-tech industry. Google’s broad product portfolio and size position it among the top four influential technology firms, along with Apple, IBM, and Microsoft. In 2016, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) earned nearly all of its revenue from the search-based advertising model.

The first step in delivering search results is discovering what pages exist on the internet. There is no central registry of web pages and so the Google algorithm must look for new information from a variety of different sources. Some of this new information comes from a website’s HTML, which contains a list of all the pages that the website owner has created. Google can also discover new pages by following links from other known pages.

Once the search engine knows what pages exist, it must find and store that information in a database. The next step is figuring out how to best match that data to user queries. This involves looking for all the possible ways to describe a query and then evaluating the quality of each result in relation to its ability to answer the query. This process is known as ranking.

Google has added many features since its inception to enhance the user experience and the functionality of its search engine. In 2001, Google launched AdWords, an online advertising system that allows businesses to place text-based advertisements in relevant search results on Google’s Search Results Page. Google has also added other tools to improve the search experience, including spell checking, synonym searching, and a tool that shows “Did you mean” results when users make spelling mistakes in their searches.

In addition to expanding its product lineup, Google has acquired several other companies and has taken on a number of different initiatives to expand its presence in the tech world. For example, in 2012, Google purchased Motorola Mobility to boost its position in the mobile phone market. Google has also invested heavily in developing self-driving cars and in artificial intelligence, which are expected to significantly change the way humans interact with computers.

In 2015, Google reorganized itself as a parent company under Alphabet Inc. Search, advertising, apps, maps, and the mobile operating system Android remained under Google’s ownership. Other ventures, such as longevity research, stayed separate under the Alphabet banner. Google’s success has made it one of the most valuable brands in the world. It has a market value of around $920 billion.

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