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Google Inc. is an American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products. These include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, and software.[7] Most of its profits are derived from AdWords,[8][9] an online advertising service that places advertising near the list of search results.

Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares but control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. Its mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful,"[10] and its unofficial slogan was "Don't be evil".[11][12] In 2004, Google moved to its new headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex.[13] In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its interests as a holding company called Alphabet Inc. When this restructuring took place on October 2, 2015, Google became Alphabet's leading subsidiary, as well as the parent for Google's Internet interests.[14][15][16][17][18]

Rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine. It offers online productivity software including email (Gmail), a cloud storage service (Google Drive), an office suite (Google Docs) and a social networking service (Google+). Desktop products include applications for web browsing (Google Chrome), organizing and editing photos, and instant messaging. The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system and the browser-only Chrome OS[19] for a class of netbooks known as Chromebooks. Google has moved increasingly into communications hardware: it partners with major electronics manufacturers[20] in the production of its "high-quality low-cost"[21] Nexus devices and acquired Motorola Mobility in May 2012.[22] In 2012, a fiber-optic infrastructure was installed in Kansas City to facilitate a Google Fiber broadband service.[23]

The corporation has been estimated to run more than one million servers in data centers around the world (as of 2007).[24] It processes over one billion search requests[25] and about 24 petabytes of user-generated data each day (as of 2009).[26][27][28][29] In December 2013, Alexa listed google.com as the most visited website in the world. Numerous Google sites in other languages figure in the top one hundred, as do several other Google-owned sites such as YouTube and Blogger.[30] Its market dominance has led to prominent media coverage, including criticism of the company over issues such as aggressive tax avoidance,[31] search neutrality, copyright, censorship, and privacy

Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in Stanford, California.[35]

While conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, the two theorized about a better system that analyzed the relationships between websites.[36] They called this new technology PageRank; it determined a website's relevance by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages, that linked back to the original site.[37][38]

Page and Brin originally nicknamed their new search engine "BackRub", because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site.[39][40][41] Eventually, they changed the name to Google, originating from a misspelling of the word "googol",[42][43] the number one followed by one hundred zeros, which was picked to signify that the search engine was intended to provide large quantities of information.[44] Originally, Google ran under Stanford University's website, with the domains google.stanford.edu and z.stanford.edu.[45][46]

The domain name for Google was registered on September 15, 1997,[47] and the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998. It was based in the garage of a friend (Susan Wojcicki[35]) in Menlo Park, California. Craig Silverstein, a fellow PhD student at Stanford, was hired as the first employee.[35][48][49]

In May 2011, the number of monthly unique visitors to Google surpassed one billion for the first time, an 8.4 percent increase from May 2010 (931 million).[50] In January 2013, Google announced it had earned US$50 billion in annual revenue for the year of 2012. This marked the first time the company had reached this feat, topping their 2011 total of $38 billion.[51]

The company has reported fourth quarter (Dec 2014) Earnings Per Share (EPS) of $6.88 – $0.20 under projections. Revenue came in at $14.5 billion (16.9% growth year over year), also under expectations by $110 million

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