The Influence of Google
The largest Internet company in the world, google handles more than 70 percent of all online search requests. Its dominance has raised concerns about its privacy practices and the power it has to influence the flow of information on the web. The company’s stated mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. It is so influential that its name has become a verb; people often use the term “google” to refer to searching the Web for information.
Google was founded in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page. It originally consisted of a single web page and a small collection of software tools that automatically indexed web pages for information such as words, images, and locations. The pair developed it from their Stanford dormitory rooms using discounted computer parts and their credit cards. In the fall of 1998, Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim provided $100,000 in seed money. The company was incorporated on 4 September 1998 and named Google Inc. The name is a portmanteau of the words googol and google, meaning “10 to the 100th.”
In the beginning, Google’s search engine ranked websites based on how frequently they used certain keywords in their pages. This technique was criticized as being biased against web sites that were created by amateurs. The founders then introduced a new ranking system based on how many other pages linked to the original site were deemed relevant by a number of factors. This process became known as PageRank, and it was a major factor in the success of Google.
Today, Google offers a variety of services and products, including search, email, online document creation, maps, mobile phone software, video-sharing, and advertising. Its broad product portfolio and size have made it one of the world’s most influential companies in the high-tech industry.
Some of Google’s most popular products and features include:
Gmail – The world’s most popular free e-mail host. Google Maps – A powerful mapping tool that lets users look up directions and find nearby businesses. Google Keep – A service that allows users to record and share notes with other users. Google Lens – A feature that enables Google to identify objects in photographs.
Google Chrome – The world’s most popular desktop Internet browser. Google Calendar – A convenient way to manage and synchronize events. Google Classroom – A digital classroom tool for students and teachers.
Google provides several other valuable services such as Google Books – A large library of classics in PDF format that can be read on any device. Google Code Search – A tool that lets developers search for open source code. Google Helpouts – A social networking service that allows users to assist others with technology issues. Google News – A service that delivers great news organized from thousands of sources. Google Sheets – A service that offers a full-featured spreadsheet program. Google Slides – A full-featured presentation program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint.