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. 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.
Its mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," and its unofficial slogan was "Don't be evil." Originally, Google ran under Stanford University's website, with the domains google.stanford.edu and z.stanford.edu. 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.
The domain name for Google was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998. It was based in the garage of a friend (Susan Wojcicki) in Menlo Park, California. Craig Silverstein, a fellow PhD student at Stanford, was hired as the first employee. 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.
Together they own about 14 percent of its shares but control 56 of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. Google also moved to headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex on 2004.
Google is an American multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products. These include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, and software. Most of its profits are derived from AdWords. Rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine. It offers online productivity software including email (Gmail), a cloud storage service (Google Drive), an office suite (Google Docs) and a social networking service (Google+).
Desktop products include applications for web browsing, organizing and editing photos, and instant messaging. The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system and the browser-only Chrome OS for a netbook known as a Chromebook. Google has moved increasingly into communications hardware: it partners with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its "high-quality low-cost" Nexus devices and acquired Motorola Mobility in May 2012. In 2012, a fiber-optic infrastructure was installed in Kansas City to facilitate a Google Fiber broadband service.
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