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Google is an American public company that specializes in internet related services. It was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin during their time as students in Stanford University. It all started with their interest in the world wide web and creating a better search engine. They started the search engine service named "BackRub" in their dorm room under Stanford University's website. As it grew popular, they changed the name to Google and registered a domain for it. At the time, their version of a web based search engine was far superior to other ones which were available and so they started gaining attention. Eventually, it started getting funding from various investors and sources, most notably from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, which instigated the rapid rise and prominence of the Google that is known to us today. As of today, Google is one of the most valuable brands in the world and its search engine gets over a billion visits per day.
Google is no longer just a giant web search engine. It also provides services like e-mails, online video hosting (YouTube), online office solutions like calendar, document editors and viewers, and also storage solutions (Google Drive), not to mention the Android Operating System, which runs on billions of mobile devices worldwide.
As with most companies these days, Google does face competition from other companies, most notably from Apple Inc., Amazon.com, and Facebook. Throughout it's years, Google has been able to fend off competition from companies like Yahoo! and Microsoft with their own search engines. While those two were decent services, they couldn't keep up pace with Google Search and Google's market share was just impenetrable. But in recent years, Facebook with their huge user base is giving Google competition on advertisements. Amazon.com has become a sort of search engine itself with its growing number of products and services every day. And Apple is threatening Google with its mobile operating system, iOS, and its enormous market share. But its not just fighting for market all the time, as it seems Google also sells its services to rival companies; Amazon.com spends hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise their products in Google. Google also utilizes other companies' services to expand its own. For instance, majority of Facebook users also share YouTube videos, promoting a Google service in the process. So in a way, the competition is also creating opportunities for Google to expand its market.
Google started out as a web based search engine. As it started gaining user base and momentum, it started investing in other services. It has come a long way since its inception, and in the process it has created a handful of services, most notably YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, and Android. It is trying to reach out to an even wider audience and it can be seen by the company's acquisitions and focus on different technology and hardware. Currently, its main source of revenue is from advertisements through its services. This may be seen as a sort of weakness. However, Google has excellent brand equity and an enormous user base. There have been instances of product failures as with Google+ and Google Glass. However, it did not affect the company that much. It's quite frightening to realize that people have become too dependent on Google services. Such is the current status of Google in people's day to day lives.
Google had set out with a mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible. In some ways, it has been successful in doing so. Not only are its services free to the public, but it's also one of the most widely accepted companies in the world. Recently, it has started providing Internet service in some parts of the USA. It is seen as a step to jump into a new yet a very familiar territory.
The founders Page and Brim recently announced to restructure the ownership of Google and other companies tied to it. These services will be owned under a new company named "Alphabet" and its portfolio will include several industries including technology, life sciences, investment capital, and research. It is believed to be a step to gain greater control of companies whose core business was unrelated to it, helping make the organization more cleaner and efficient.