Google (LLC) is an American multinational technology corporation specializing in services and products related to the Internet, including online advertisement technology, search engines, cloud storage, applications, and hardware. Next to Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, it is considered one of the Top Five technology firms in the U.S. information technology industry.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin formed Google in September 1998 when they were Ph.D. students at California’s Stanford University. Together, they own about 14% of their shares and control 56% of the voting power of stockholders by supervoting stocks. On September 4, 1998, in California, they founded Google as a privately owned corporation in California. In Delaware, Google was then reincorporated on October 22, 2002. On August 19, 2004, an initial public offering (IPO) took place and Google moved to its Mountain View, California headquarters, called the Googleplex. Google announced plans to reorganize its diverse interests into a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. in August 2015. Google is the leading subsidiary of Alphabet, which will continue to be the umbrella corporation for the Internet interests of Alphabet. Sundar Pichai was appointed Google’s CEO, replacing Larry Page, who became Alphabet’s CEO.
The rapid growth of the company since incorporation has sparked a chain of products, acquisitions and alliances beyond the core search engine of Google (Google Search). It offers job and productivity resources (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides), email (Gmail), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), instant messaging and video talk (Duo, Hangouts, Chat, and Meet), translation of languages (Google Translate), mapping and navigation (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, and Street View), hosting of podcasts (Goo Translate) (Google Photos). The firm is leading the development of the Chrome browser-based Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system. Google has gradually switched to hardware, collaborating with major electronics manufacturers in the manufacture of its Nexus devices from 2010 to 2015, and launched several hardware products in October 2016, including the Google Pixel smartphone range, Google Home smart speakers, Google Wifi wireless mesh router, and Google Daydream virtual reality headsets. Google has even sought to become an online carrier (Google Fiber, Google Fi, and Google Station).
The most visited website worldwide is Google.com. Also on the list of most popular websites, including YouTube and Blogger, are several other Google-owned websites.