Google, the leading Internet information organization and search company in the world, is one of the fastest growing companies in the world. It daily provides services to corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals in a platform-independent manner.

Google emerged from pioneering work on an Search enginesInternet search engine known as BackRub that was created in January of 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two graduate students at Stanford University. They first sought to license their search technology to another company, but when that failed, they decided to form their own company. They received $100,000 in financing from Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems. Because the check was made out to “Google, Inc.,” which did not yet exist as a corporation, Page and Brin had to incorporate to cash it. They convinced family, friends, and others to invest, collecting a total of $1 million.Google

The company launched in rented garage space in Menlo Park, California, in September of 1998, starting with just 10,000 search queries a day and three employees. In June of 1999, when the company had eight employees and more than 500,000 Internet queries per day, it obtained an infusion of $25 million in venture capital from Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins. By 2000, when Google introduced a one-billion-page index to the World Wide Web and had more than 100 million search queries a day, it had come to control the world’s largest search engine. On April 19, 2004, it became a publicly traded company on NASDAQ. In October, Google announced its first quarterly results as a public company, with revenues of nearly $806 million. By 2008, the company had grown to encompass more than seventeen thousand employees in twenty nations offering search services via 160 local country domains on the Internet and in more than 117 distinct languages from its Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California, and locations worldwide. Google reported revenues of $5.2 billion for the first quarter of 2008 (ending March 31, 2008), up 42 percent from the first quarter of 2007 and up 7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007. Net income for the same period was $1.31 billion as compared with $1.21 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The founders of Google, Sergey Brin (above) and Larry Page at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, in early 2004.

(AP/Wide World Photos)

Over the course of its evolution, Google has acquired more than fifty companies and annually spends about a third of its revenues on search technologies, a third on advertising technologies, and a fifth on businesses related to its interests in organizing the world’s information. Major acquisitions in 2006 and 2007 included YouTube, a consumer media company; Postini, a communication security and compliance company; and DoubleClick, an Internet advertising service provider. Through its many products and services, Google provides search technologies for print, visual, and audio media. It has entered into a growing partnership with major libraries to make available fully searchable digital forms of the world’s literature. The company has also launched into wireless technologies and created as a philanthropic arm of the corporation.


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