“Market Cap $382.47 B As of May 2014
At a Glance
- Industry: Computer Services
- Founded: 1998
- Country: United States
- CEO: Larry Page
- Employees: 47,756
- Sales: $59.73 B
- Headquarters: Mountain View, California
#52 Global 2000
- #132 in Sales
- #33 in Profit
- #235 in Assets
- #3 in Market value
#5 World’s Most Valuable Brands
#47 Innovative Companies (#24 in 2012)
Google, Inc. focuses on improving the ways people connect with information. It provides variety of services and tools for advertisers of all sizes, from simple text ads to display and mobile advertising and to publishers, whether small or large. The company primarily focuses on the areas which include search, advertising, operating systems, platforms, enterprise and hardware products. The search area consists of a vast index of websites and other online content which is made available through its search engine to anyone with an internet connection. The advertising area includes AdWords, AdSense, Google Display, Google Mobile programs and Google Local. Google Mobile offers on developing easy-to-use ad products to help advertisers extend their reach the publisher partners, and deliver relevant and useful ads to users on the go. Google Local provides users with relevant local information, including addresses, phone numbers, hours of operation, directions and local queries like shops, restaurants, parks and landmarks right on Google.com, on Google Maps and on Google Maps for mobile. The AdWords program delivers ads which are useful and relevant to search queries. The AdSense program enables websites that are part of the Google Network to deliver ads. The Display advertising program comprises the videos, text, images and other interactive ads that run across the web on computers and mobile devices, including smart phones and handheld computers such as netbooks and tablets. The operating systems and platform area is comprised of Android, Google Chrome OS and Google Chrome, Google TV and Google Books. Android is a free, fully open source mobile software platform which can be used by any developer to create applications for mobile devices. Google Chrome OS is an open source operating system with the Google Chrome web browser as its foundation. Both the Google Chrome OS and the Google Chrome browser are built around the core tenets of speed, simplicity, and security. Google TV is a platform that gives consumers the power to experience television and the internet on a single screen, with the ability to search and find the content they want to watch. The Google Books platform is designed to help people discover, search and consume content from printed books online. Google’s enterprise products area provides familiar, easy-to-use Google technology for business settings. The company operates through two segments: Google and Mobile: The Google segment includes the advertising and other non-advertising businesses. The Mobile segment includes mobile devices business acquired from Motorola. The company was founded by Sergey Brin & Lawrence E. Page on September 4, 1998 and is headquartered in Mountain View, CA.“
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.
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. 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.
A small search engine called “RankDex” from IDD Information Services designed by Robin Li was, since 1996, already exploring a similar strategy for site-scoring and page ranking. The technology in RankDex would be patented and used later when Li founded Baidu in China.
Page and Brin originally nicknamed their new search engine “BackRub”, because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site. Eventually, they changed the name to Google, originating from a misspelling of the word “googol”, 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.Originally, Google ran under Stanford University’s website, with the domains google.stanford.edu and z.stanford.edu.
The domain name for Google was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998. It was based in a friend’s (Susan Wojcicki) garage in Menlo Park, California. Craig Silverstein, a fellow PhD student at Stanford, was hired as the first employee.
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). 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 US$38 billion.
Financing and initial public offering
The first funding for Google was an August 1998 contribution of US$100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, given before Google was incorporated. Early in 1999, while graduate students, Brin and Page decided that the search engine they had developed was taking up too much time and distracting their academic pursuits. They went to Excite CEO George Bell and offered to sell it to him for US$1 million. He rejected the offer and later criticized Vinod Khosla, one of Excite’s venture capitalists, after he negotiated Brin and Page down to $750,000. On June 7, 1999, a $25 million round of funding was announced, with major investors including the venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital.
Google’s initial public offering (IPO) took place five years later on August 19, 2004. At that time Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt agreed to work together at Google for 20 years, until the year 2024. The company offered 19,605,052 shares at a price of $85 per share.Shares were sold in an online auction format using a system built by Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, underwriters for the deal. The sale of $1.67 billion gave Google a market capitalization of more than $23 billion. By January 2014, its market capitalization had grown to $397 billion. The vast majority of the 271 million shares remained under the control of Google, and many Google employees became instant paper millionaires. Yahoo!, a competitor of Google, also benefited because it owned 8.4 million shares of Google before the IPO took place.
There were concerns that Google’s IPO would lead to changes in company culture. Reasons ranged from shareholder pressure for employee benefit reductions to the fact that many company executives would become instant paper millionaires. As a reply to this concern, co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page promised in a report to potential investors that the IPO would not change the company’s culture. In 2005, articles inThe New York Times and other sources began suggesting that Google had lost its anti-corporate, no evil philosophy. In an effort to maintain the company’s unique culture, Google designated a Chief Culture Officer, who also serves as the Director of Human Resources. The purpose of the Chief Culture Officer is to develop and maintain the culture and work on ways to keep true to the core values that the company was founded on: a flat organization with a collaborative environment. Google has also faced allegations of sexism and ageism from former employees.
The stock performed well after the IPO, with shares hitting $700 for the first time on October 31, 2007, primarily because of strong sales and earnings in the online advertisingmarket. The surge in stock price was fueled mainly by individual investors, as opposed to large institutional investors and mutual funds. The company is listed on theNASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol GOOG and on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GGQ1.
In March 1999, the company moved its offices to Palo Alto, California, which is home to several prominent Silicon Valley technology startups. The next year, against Page and Brin’s initial opposition toward an advertising-funded search engine, Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords. In order to maintain an uncluttered page design and increase speed, advertisements were solely text-based. Keywords were sold based on a combination of price bids and click-throughs, with bidding starting at five cents per click.
This model of selling keyword advertising was first pioneered by Goto.com, an Idealab spin-off created by Bill Gross. When the company changed names to Overture Services, it sued Google over alleged infringements of the company’s pay-per-click and bidding patents. Overture Services would later be bought by Yahoo! and renamed Yahoo! Search Marketing. The case was then settled out of court; Google agreed to issue shares of common stock to Yahoo! in exchange for a perpetual license.
In 2001, Google received a patent for its PageRank mechanism. The patent was officially assigned to Stanford University and lists Lawrence Page as the inventor. In 2003, after outgrowing two other locations, the company leased an office complex from Silicon Graphics at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View, California. The complex became known as the Googleplex, a play on the word googolplex, the number one followed by a googol zeroes. The Googleplex interiors were designed by Clive WilkinsonArchitects. Three years later, Google bought the property from SGI for $319 million. By that time, the name “Google” had found its way into everyday language, causing the verb “google” to be added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary, denoted as “to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet.”
Google announced the launch of a new company called Calico on September 19, 2013, which will be led by Apple chairman Arthur Levinson. In the official public statement, Page explained that the “health and wellbeing” company will focus on “the challenge of ageing and associated diseases”.
As of September 2013, Google operates 70 offices in more than 40 countries. Google celebrated its 15-year anniversary on September 27, 2013, although it has used other dates for its official birthday. The reason for the choice of September 27 remains unclear, and a dispute with rival search engine Yahoo! Search in 2005 has been suggested as the cause.
The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) was launched in October 2013 and Google is part of the coalition of public and private organisations that also includes Facebook, Inteland Microsoft. Led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the A4AI seeks to make Internet access more affordable so that access is broadened in the developing world, where only 31% of people are online. Google will help to decrease internet access prices so that they fall below the UN Broadband Commission’s worldwide target of 5% of monthly income.
The corporation’s consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2013 is reported in mid-October 2013 as US$14.89 billion, a 12 percent increase compared to the previous quarter. Google’s Internet business was responsible for US$10.8 billion of this total, with an increase in the number of users’ clicks on advertisements.
In November 2013, Google announced plans for a new 1-million-sq-ft (93,000 sq m) office in London, which is due to open in 2016. The new premises will be able to accommodate 4,500 employees and has been identified as one of the biggest ever commercial property acquisitions in Britain.”
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org
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