The go-to search engine, it is a company that has become synonymous with the Internet itself. Since 1998, the company has continued to grow, expanding into new territories.
Google was originally founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University, incorporating the company on Sept. 4, 1998. According to the founders, the purpose of Google is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The domain of Google was actually registered on Sept. 15, 1997, one year previous to the founding of the company.
The first funding for the company came in August of 1998 when Andy Bechtolsheim, who was the founder of Sun Microsystems, provided $100,000. This occurred one month before the company even incorporated. One year later, the founders felt that the company was taking up too much of their time and their academics were suffering. They offered to sell it to Excite CEO George Bell for $1 million but he refused. To put this in perspective, 15 years later Google earned $50 billion in annual revenue.
The founders continued to work with the company and on August 19, 2004, it officially went public, earning $1.67 billion and giving Google a market capitalization of over $20 billion. This number has continued to grow, and Google is now believed to be worth nearly $400 billion. Many Google employees owned shares in the company, with the majority of the 271 million shares staying within Google. As a result, many employees at the company became instant millionaires when the company went public.
Today, the company runs more than one million servers around the world, processing one billion search requests, and 24 petabytes of user-generated data on a daily basis. Google is the most-visited website on the entire planet, and there are over 100 other Google sites in different languages. In addition, Google owns Blogger and YouTube, and the company has dominated the Internet market like none other before or since.
In all, Google has 57,756 employees, consisting of 10,000 software developers in 40 offices around the planet. The CEOs have a base salary of one dollar per year, down from $250,000 a year previously. That being said, they are billionaires many times over due to owning so many Google shares.
Google has also changed the way that employees are treated. Engineers at the company are encouraged to spend 20 per cent of their work time on projects that they are interested in. This method of employee motivation has helped to create Gmail, Google News and AdSense.
The company uses enough electricity to power 200,000 homes, roughly 25 per cent of the output of a nuclear power plant. As a result, Google has pledged to become carbon neutral.
The company has several services that it provides to consumers, including:
- Search Engine: This is the main service and what Google is so famous for. Currently, Google has a market share of 65.6 per cent, indexing billions of web pages. In all, Google Search handles roughly three billion searches every single day.
- Advertising: The company makes roughly $10 billion a year from advertising and advertising makes up 96 per cent of its revenue. Google Analytics allows website creators to track where and how people use their websites. Google advertisements are placed in search engines when searches are done, and AdWords allows advertisers to display their advertisements within the network of Google.
- Gmail: Launched as a beta-program in 2004, and available to the public in 2007, the service has 146 million monthly users, providing one gigabyte of storage to its users.
- Google Apps: These are apps that can be used for education, business and more, with Google Docs being the most famous of these.
- Google News: Launched in 2002, this provides summarized news articles from throughout the Internet.
- Google Translate: This is a server-side translation service that allows for the translation of most websites into 35 different languages.
- Android: Google released its Android operating system in 2007 and has released several high-quality phones including the Nexus One. In addition, Google currently controls 64 per cent of the smartphone market.
- Google Glasses: Launching in 2014, these glasses will give users the ability to literally surf the world right in front of their eyes, accessing a wide assortment of data in their day-to-day lives.