What is Google?

Google is a multinational corporation that specializes in internet-related services and products. It is best known for its search engine, which powers the world’s most popular online searches and is the company’s primary source of revenue. Google also provides other internet-based services and apps, such as email, maps, social media, cloud storage and software. The company has a wide range of physical products as well, including the Pixel smartphone line, the Chromecast in-home streaming device and the Chromebook laptops. Other Google-branded hardware includes the Nest smart home devices and the Google Home speaker.

Two Stanford University graduate students named Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1996 as a way to find files on the internet. They based their search algorithm on a program called BackRub, which prioritised web pages based on how many other web pages linked to them. This method produced more useful search results than its rivals and rapidly increased Google’s market share.

The pair chose the name Google from the googol, a number that is ten to the hundredth power (or 10100). Both founders viewed their project as a way to organize the information on the internet and make it easily accessible internationally. The company has grown to become one of the largest and most profitable in history, with a current market capitalization of over US$790 billion. It is also the world’s most-visited website, with over a trillion page views per month.

In 2012, Google launched voice search to enable searching by speaking rather than typing. Later that year it launched Google News, a service that gathers articles from around the world on a given topic in real time and displays them as they occur, so users can access multiple perspectives on a story.

Over the years, Google has added a number of other features to its search engine. These include personalised results, a tool that shows results relevant to the user’s location and a mobile-optimised interface that enables people using a smartphone to search with ease.

The company generates its income through advertisements displayed next to search results and other websites that use Google AdSense. It has also developed a range of other software and applications, including Google Analytics and a system that allows uers to create scalable web services.

Google’s diversified business has made it the richest publicly traded company in the world. Its diversified business also means that it has to manage risks associated with various markets and technologies. As a result, it has recently begun to invest in healthcare and has also branched out into the development of self-driving cars. In 2015, it reorganized its interests as a holding company called Alphabet Inc, with Google as the leading subsidiary. Its other subsidiaries include health company Calico, tech industry private equity firm CapitalG and robotics firm Intrinsic. It also has a number of “moonshot” projects that explore advanced artificial intelligence, including the DeepMind machine learning system and large language model chatbot.

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