What is Google

Google began in 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University. The students invented a system whereby servers search the Internet and sort the information according to the user’s query. They called this system PageRank. They initially called their search engine BackRub. Today, Google is by far the biggest search engine on the Internet. Within a short time, the company grew into one of the biggest players in the ICT industry and acquired several other sites/companies, such as YouTube and DoubleClick. In the first quarter of 2018, the company had as many as 85,050 employees.

Google is undoubtedly one of the strongest brands in the world. The word is a variant of the word “googol”, which was invented by Milton Sirotta, the nephew of the American mathematician Edward Kasner. Googol is thus an invented synonym for a 1 with a hundred zeros. The term reflects the company’s mission to make all the world’s information accessible and useful. Actually, the the company was supposed to be called “Googol”, but due to a mistake made by one of the founders, it became Google.

Google’s revenues are mainly generated through the sale of advertisements by means of Google Ads. Google sells ads in two ways of selling advertisements:

  1. Google Search: advertising space next to and above the search results on its own search engine pages. An advertiser can specify in the Google Ads programme where the ads should appear: only on the search results pages or also on publisher pages. Advertisers’ ads can appear after searches that match a word chosen by the advertiser. Advertisers pay per click (CPC, cost per click), although since June 2005 Google also works with payment per display (CPM, costs per million views). Advertisers can bid against each other for popular search terms. It is actually an auction system.
  2. Google AdSense: on the pages of publishers who have made advertising space available. Publishers can register for the AdSense programme. They decide for themselves where on their site pages the ads will appear, the size of the ads and whether they will be text or image ads. With its search technology, Google tries to link the publishers’ pages to relevant advertisements. A search query or web page about washing machines should thus show ads about washing machines.

Google has become much more than just a search engine and and advertisements. The list of Google products and services is almost endless and is still expanding. Below is a selection of the services and devices that are are best known. The complete list can be found here.

Google services to make your online search experience easier:

  • Google Chrome
  • Google Maps
  • Google Translate
  • Waze

Google services to get you organised online:

  • Gmail
  • Google messages
  • Google Hangout (meet)
  • Google Duo
  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Google Drive
  • Google Calendar

Google entertainment services

  • Youtube
  • Youtube music
  • Google Play Music

Google services to collect and analyse data online:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Data Studio
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Google Search Console
  • Google My Business

Operating Systems:

  • Android OS
  • Android Auto

Google Devices

  • Google Chrome
  • Pixel 3 Smarthpone
  • Pixel Slate Tablet
  • Connected Home
  • Google WiFi
  • Chromebook laptop
  • Wear OS

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