What is Google?
Google is the world’s most popular search engine and one of the most powerful forces in the Internet as we know it. The company operates numerous services from its headquarters in Mountain View, California. Its core business is online advertising, but it also produces hardware and offers a number of free software tools for businesses.
Google was founded in 1996 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who were both Ph.D students at Stanford University in California. They developed their search engine as a way to find files on the web while conducting their dissertation research. Originally called Backrub, the engine used an algorithm that prioritized web pages based on how many other web pages linked to them, rather than relying on keywords or content. This gave Google a distinct advantage over other search engines.
The company began to expand quickly, and by the late 1990s it had established a dominant position in online search. In 1998, it received outside financing and changed its name to Google, which was a misspelling of the word googol (a mathematical expression of one followed by 100 zeros). The founders chose the new name because they felt it accurately reflected their mission to organize the world’s information so that it was universally accessible and useful.
Today, Google’s services span the globe and operate in nearly every country. The most well known are Gmail, Google Drive, Maps, Chrome and YouTube. The company also offers several online business solutions, including Google Apps, Google Classroom and Google Analytics. Google has even branched out into physical products with the Pixel smartphone line, the Chromecast in-home streaming device and the Chromebook laptop range.
In addition to its suite of cloud-based solutions, Google also offers a variety of mobile and desktop apps for iOS and Android devices. Its Play Store is the primary distribution platform for its own apps and games, as well as those from third-party developers. It also offers a suite of productivity and collaboration tools, which are collectively referred to as the Google Workspace.
Google has a few well-known hidden Easter eggs scattered throughout its various services. These include the ability to display searches in leet speak (Google H4x0r) or Klingon and a tool that allows you to translate web pages into a different language using Google Translate.
The company’s enormous popularity has caused some criticism over the privacy of users’ personal data and the amount of money it makes from ads displayed on its services. The company has responded to some of these concerns with its transparency report, which provides details on how the company collects and uses user data. Additionally, it has introduced a series of voluntary policies to increase consumer protections and has promised to take stronger measures against cyberbullying. In addition, it has launched a project called Code for America to encourage young people to learn computer programming skills.