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Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple and Facebook.

Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering (IPO) took place on August 19, 2004, and Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page who became the CEO of Alphabet.

The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine (Google Search). It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides), email (Gmail/Inbox), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), instant messaging and video chat (Google Allo, Duo, Hangouts), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and navigation (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, Street View), video sharing (YouTube), note-taking (Google Keep), and photo organizing and editing (Google Photos). The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome browser. Google has moved increasingly into hardware; from 2010 to 2015, it partnered with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its Nexus devices, and it released multiple hardware products in October 2016, including the Google Pixel smartphone, Google Home smart speaker, Google Wifi mesh wireless router, and Google Daydream virtual reality headset. Google has also experimented with becoming an Internet carrier (Google Fiber, Google Fi, and Google Station).

Google.com is the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services also figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger. Google was the most valuable brand in the world but has received significant criticism involving issues such as privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust, censorship, and search neutrality. Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". The company's unofficial slogan "Don't be evil" was removed from the company's code of conduct around May 2018, but reinstated by July 31, 2018.

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Google Books logo 2015.PNG
Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search and Google Print) is a service from Google Inc. that searches the full text of books and magazines that Google has scanned, converted to text using optical character recognition, and stored in its digital database. Books are provided either by publishers and authors, through the Google Books Partner Program, or by Google's library partners, through the Library Project. Additionally, Google has partnered with a number of magazine publishers to digitize their archives.

The Google Books initiative has been hailed for its potential to offer unprecedented access to what may become the largest online body of human knowledge and promoting the democratization of knowledge. However, it has also been criticized for potential copyright violations, and lack of editing to correct the thousands of errors introduced into the scanned texts by the OCR process.

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Larry Page in 2009
Lawrence "Larry" Page (born March 26, 1973) is an American computer scientist who, along with Sergey Brin, is best known as co-founder of Google in 1998. Page ran Google as co-president along with Brin until 2001, when they hired Eric Schmidt as Chairman and CEO of Google. Page is the inventor of PageRank, the foundation of Google's search ranking algorithm. As of December 2014, Page owns about 16 percent of Google, and his personal wealth was estimated to be US$28.7 billion, ranking him number 17 on the Forbes list of billionaires.

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Google's first logo, from 1998
  • ...that Google's first logo was created by Sergey Brin using GIMP, a free graphics program?
  • ...that Google's first patent was filed in 1999, and was titled "Watermarking system and methodology for digital multimedia content"?
  • ...that Google is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol GOOG?
  • ...that Google's 2002 April Fools' prank was revealing the technology behind its PageRank algorithm, PigeonRank?
  • ...that Google's largest acquisition was that of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion?

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Is there value to the users? If you bring value to the users, I think we will succeed in the long run. Some things make more money than others, but as long as we keep bringing value to the world, we will be successful.
Amit Singhal, Google engineer (2009)
Google Search Guru Singhal: We Will Try Outlandish Ideas from Bloomberg Businessweek

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