How Google Works:
Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin named the search engine they built "Google," a play on the word "googol," the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. The name reflects the immense volume of information that exists, and the scope of Google's mission: to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
When you visit www.google.com or one of more than 150 other Google domains, you can find information in many different languages (and translate between them), check stock quotes and sports scores, find news headlines and look up the address of your local post office or grocery store. You can also find images, videos, maps, patents and much more. With universal search technology, you can often find all of these things combined in one query.
Of course, there is a lot of information in the world that is not yet online, so we're also working to get more of it digitized, such as in Google Books or the Google News Archive. We also know that whenever you search the web you want it to be as fast as possible, with all your favorite websites at your fingertips, so we offer software like Google Toolbar and Google Chrome to help you browse the web quickly and easily.
Search is how Google began, and it's at the heart of what we do today. We devote more engineering time to search than to any other product at Google, because we believe that search can always be improved. We are constantly working to provide you with more relevant results so that you find what you're looking for faster. To that end, we've added services such as personalized search, which tailors results for you if you are signed in to your Google account.
As a business, Google generates the majority of its revenue by offering advertisers measurable, cost-effective and highly relevant advertising, so that the ads are useful to the people who see them as well as to the advertisers who run them.
Hundreds of thousands of advertisers worldwide use our Google AdWords program to promote their products and services on the web. Advertisers bid in an open and competitive auction to have their ads appear alongside the search results for particular keywords. They can specify the geographic location and time of day for their ads to appear. As a result, people see ads that are so useful and relevant that they become a valuable form of information in their own right.
Since we believe you should know when someone has paid to put a message in front of you, we distinguish ads from search results or other content on a page by labeling them as "sponsored links" or "Ads by Google". We don't sell ad placement in our search results, nor do we allow people to pay for a higher ranking there.
In addition, hundreds of thousands of partners, from bloggers to major online publishers, participate in our Google AdSense program. This program delivers ads from our AdWords advertisers that are relevant to the content or search results on partner sites. The AdSense program enables advertisers to extend the reach of their ad campaigns, improves partners' ability to generate revenue from their content, and delivers relevant ads for their users.
In addition to our core AdWords and AdSense programs, we offer a number of other services to advertisers, including various advertising formats on YouTube, Google TV Ads, as well as online ad serving and management services through DoubleClick. Finally, we aim to make advertising more measurable and efficient with free tools for advertisers such as Google Analytics, Website Optimizer, Insights for Searchand Ad Planner. These tools help advertisers to analyze their campaigns, test them, and make them more efficient and effective.
We build web applications, or "apps", to make it simpler for people to share information and get things done together. Gmail, Google Calendar, Blogger and Google Docs help people communicate and collaborate more easily, whether planning a wedding, building a business itinerary or just keeping friends and family up to date. The information is stored securely online, accessible from any device with a web connection. And because it lives online, it's easy to share with a group of collaborators. Everyone in the group can work on the same material at the same time, even if they're working in different buildings, countries or continents.
Today people want the same ease of use on their work computers that they have on their increasingly powerful personal computers. This is why we offer businesses a suite called Google Apps. It's powerful enough for large enterprises (we use it across all of Google, in fact) but simple enough for mom-and-pop businesses too. We're continually improving Google Apps, so you always have the latest version without worrying about maintenance or upgrades. And it's much less expensive than most traditional software. Google Apps is designed to fit the way people naturally live, work and socialize, so they can focus on what they're doing rather than worrying about maintaining the software.
We built Google Apps from the ground up for today's connected world. Our infrastructure is designed to keep our users' data safe and secure and to make our apps fast and responsive. We firmly believe that on the web, your data belongs to you, and should be portable: when you use Google Apps, you can export your mail, documents, photos or calendar entries whenever you like.
You should be able to access all of Google's services wherever you are – even if you don't have a computer nearby. We make it easy for you to use your favorite Google products, from Google Maps to YouTube, right from your phone. As mobile devices become increasingly central to people's lives, we work hard to find new and better ways to help you get the information you need when you are on the go.
We're also focused on enabling others to innovate in the mobile space. Working closely with the Open Handset Alliance, we developed Android, the world's first fully open platform that any mobile developer can use and any hardware manufacturer can install on a device. Android was built with the web in mind, and we believe that it will help drive innovation so that more people can use better and cheaper mobile devices to access the Internet.
The road ahead
A lot has changed since the first Google search engine appeared. We have grown and expanded our offerings from a single service to dozens, often in as many languages. We now have thousands of employees and offices around the world. But some things haven't changed: our dedication to our users and our belief in the possibilities of the Internet itself.