American technology company Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were PhD students at Stanford University in California. The company, which started as an online search engine, now also offers internet services, enterprise solutions, smartphones, tablets, notebooks, smart speakers, virtual reality headsets, artificial intelligence, maps and navigation services, etc.
Google was originally planned to be named googol, a mathematical term for the numerical digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes (10100). The name Google was the result of a misspelling. So, the word had no meaning at the time the company was formed. Today, however, the company’s name has become a synonymous to web search and several dictionary have even included Googling as verb meaning searching on the internet — to use the Google search engine for obtain information about (someone or something) on the World Wide Web.
In the year of incorporation, Google received its first outside financing from Sun Microsystem co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim. By 1999, the company had been processing half a million queries every day and received around $25 million through venture capital funding. The company started to grow exponentially in 2000, when Google became the default search engine for Yahoo! Later, Yahoo! and Google parted ways in 2004, but the latter continued growing and its daily recorded searches hit 200 million.
In 2015, Google was reorganised and made a subsidiary of the holding company Alphabet Inc. After becoming a subsidiary, Google’s charge was handed over to its senior vice-president of products Sundar Pichar, who is now the CEO of the company. Company’s co-founders, Page and Brin became the CEO and president of Alphabet, respectively.
Google.com is now the most visited website in the world. The company’s several other offerings, including YouTube and Blogger, also figure among the top 100 most visited websites globally. Since 2007, Google has also been one of the top five most valuable brands in the world, according to a report released by London-based data analytics and insights firm Kantar in 2019.