What is Google?
What is Google? – First of: the name to Google, originating from a misspelling of the word “googol“, the number one followed by one hundred zeros, which was picked to signal that the search engine wants to provide large quantities of information for users. 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 California. Originally, Google ran under the Stanford University website, with the domains google.stanford.edu andz.stanford.edu. Page and Brin originally nicknamed their new search engine “BackRub”, because the system checked back-links to estimate the relevance of a site. Still to-date this is largely how relevance is being derived.
This is in stark contrast to Google’s published corporate philosophy which claims that it focuses on the user and that its mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. A brief glance behind the mechanics of the company shows that neither of the two statements are driving the innovation or revenues (= motivation) of the company (read more here). So, what is Google the company? In short Google is and advertising company! In 2011, 96% of Google’s revenue was derived from its advertising programs (Page 10 of the Annual Report). What is the company’s product? If you are using Google – the product is YOU!