What is Google?
Google is a technology company that creates products that are used by millions of people worldwide. Its search engine is perhaps its most well-known product, but the corporation also offers many other services, such as email, maps, social networking, and cloud storage.
Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two Ph.D. students at Stanford University who envisioned building an online database of information that could be accessed by computers. The pair’s system used servers to search the Web and sort it according to a user’s search query, using a complex algorithm that prioritized pages based on how many other pages linked to them. They named their effort BackRub, but later changed it to Google in honour of a mathematical concept known as a googol, which is a number that contains 100 zeros.
The company expanded rapidly, acquiring other websites and services such as YouTube, DoubleClick, and the mobile operating system Android. Its advertising network uses a variety of data sources to deliver personalized ads to users on the basis of their online activities. In addition, Google offers a variety of free software programs for consumers, such as the browser Chrome, and photo-management program Picasa.
In 2009, Google began offering a suite of online office programs, called G Suite, to businesses. The suite includes programs for email, calendaring, documents, spreadsheets, and more. It also offers security features to help protect corporate data from cyber attacks.
To keep up with the demand for its products, Google built 11 data centres around the world, each containing several hundred thousand interlinked computers (basically, multiprocessor personal computers with hard drives mounted in specially constructed racks). The company’s computing infrastructure is powered by three proprietary pieces of computer code: Google File System, Bigtable, and MapReduce. The latter handles large data sets by storing them in “chunks” across multiple machines, while the former processes the chunks to produce higher-level information such as search results or maps.
While Google is famous for its motto, “Don’t be evil,” the company has faced controversy over how it uses consumer information to target ads and whether or not the firm violates privacy rights. It reorganized in 2015 to become a subsidiary of the holding company Alphabet Inc. and made Sundar Pichai its CEO.
In early 2018, the company entered the virtual reality market with its Glass headset, which is worn like eyeglasses and displays augmented-reality images on the user’s field of vision. Its self-driving car project, Waymo, is developing autonomous vehicles that will be able to navigate without human intervention and could be available for public use within five years. Other projects include the search for extraterrestrial life and a self-driving balloon that can carry medical supplies to remote areas. In addition, the company is working on a large language model chatbot that can converse with humans. The robot, which is being developed in partnership with Microsoft, has already proved to be more advanced than previous chatbots.