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Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG and LSE: GGEA) is a U.S. public corporation, first incorporated as a privately held corporation the 7 September 1998, that designs and manages the Internet's most used search engine. The company employs approximately 8,000 employees and is based in Mountain View, California. Eric Schmidt, former chief executive officer of Novell, was named Google's CEO when co-founder Larry Page stepped down.

The name "Google" originated from a misspelling of "googol,"[1][2] which refers to 10100 (a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros). Google has had a major impact on online culture. The verb "google" was recently added to both the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary, meaning "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet."[3][4]

Google's services are run on several server farms, each consisting of thousands of low-cost commodity computers running stripped-down versions of Linux. While the company does not provide detailed information about its hardware, a 2006 estimate consisted of over 450,000 servers, racked up in clusters located in data centers around the world (See Google platform for more details on their technology).[5] According to the Nielsen cabinet, Google is the most popular search engine on the web with a 54% market share, ahead of Yahoo! (23%) and MSN (13%). It receives about a billion search requests per day, which are recorded and stored indefinitely "to improve its search engines."[6]

Google began as a research project in January, 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two Ph.D. students at Stanford University, California.[7] They hypothesized that a search engine that analyzed the relationships between websites would produce better results than existing techniques (existing search engines at the time essentially ranked results according to how many times the search term appeared on a page).[8] It was originally nicknamed "BackRub" because the system checked backlinks to estimate a site's importance.[9] A small search engine called RankDex was already exploring a similar strategy.[10]

Convinced that the pages with the most links to them from other highly relevant web pages must be the most relevant pages associated with the search, Page and Brin tested their thesis as part of their studies, and laid the foundation for their search engine. Originally the search engine used the Stanford University website with the domain google.stanford.edu. The domain google.com was registered on September 14, 1997, and the company was incorporated as Google Inc. on September 7, 1998 at a friend's garage in Menlo Park, California. The total initial investment raised for the new company eventually amounted to almost US$1 million, including a $100,000 check by Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems.[11]

In March, 1999, the company moved into offices at 165 University Avenue in Palo Alto, home to several other noted Silicon Valley technology startups. After quickly outgrowing two other sites, the company settled into their current home in a complex of buildings in Mountain View at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, in 2003. The complex has since become known as the Googleplex. Silicon Graphics leased the buildings to Google.

The Google search engine attracted a loyal following among the growing number of Internet users. They were attracted to its simple, uncluttered, clean design — a competitive advantage to attract users who did not wish to enter searches on web pages filled with visual distractions. This appearance, while imitating the early AltaVista, had behind it Google's unique search capabilities. In 2000 Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords. This strategy was important for increasing advertising revenue, which is based upon the number of hits users make upon ads. The ads were text-based in order to maintain an uncluttered page design and to maximize page loading speed. Keywords were sold based on a combination of price bid and clickthroughs, with bidding starting at $.05 per click. This model of selling keyword advertising was pioneered by Goto.com (later renamed Overture, then Yahoo! Search Marketing).[12] While many of its dot-com rivals failed in the new Internet marketplace, Google quietly rose in stature while generating revenue.

U.S. Patent 6,285,999 describing Google's ranking mechanism (PageRank) was granted on September 4, 2001. The patent was officially assigned to Stanford University and lists Lawrence Page as the inventor.

Googe is the best!
ylmun
Ummmmmm,

Moderator?
orno
sorry it took so long

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