What started as a project led by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University, is now one of the most influential companies on the World Wide Web: Google.
Initially, the students’ goal was to create an efficient search engine that would provide users with relevant links in response to search requests.
While that is the main purpose of Google today, the company now provides services ranging from email and document storage to productivity software and mobile phone operating systems.
In less than a decade, Google evolved from a two-man company to a multi-million dollar corporation
Today, the popularity of Google continues to grow. In 2007, the company overtook Microsoft as the most visited site on the Web.
The influence of the company on the web is undeniable. Virtually all webmasters want their site to appear prominently on the search engine results pages (SERPs) of Google, as it almost always results in more traffic on the corresponding website.
Google has also acquired other Internet companies, ranging from blog services to YouTube video sharing site
For a while, the company’s search technology even boosted the search engines of rival companies – Yahoo! It was based on Google searches for almost four years until it developed its own search engine technologies in 2004.
The influence of Google is not limited only to the web. In 2007, company executives announced their intention to participate in the auction of the FCC wireless spectrum in the 700 megahertz (MHz) band.
That part of the wireless spectrum previously belonged to analog television. Google representatives said the company entered the auction to boost competition within the wireless service industry.
Google supported an open technology approach to wireless service in which consumers could use any device with any provider instead of facing limited choices determined by the provider and its preferred providers.
To participate in the auction, Google had to show that it was ready to meet the reserve price for the spectrum: $ 4.6 billion
The name Google is a variation of the word “googol”, which is a mathematical term for a one followed by 100 zeros. Page and Brin felt that the name helped to illustrate Google’s monumental mission: to organize billions of bytes of data found on the Web.
The Google search engine
The Google search engine is a powerful tool. Without search engines such as Google, it would be virtually impossible to find the information you need when browsing the Web.
Like all search engines, Google uses a special algorithm to generate search results
While Google shares general data about its algorithm, the details are a company secret. This helps Google remain competitive with other search engines on the Web and reduces the possibility of someone discovering how to abuse the system.
Google uses automated programs called spiders or crawlers, like most search engines
Also like other search engines, Google has a large index of keywords and where you can find those words.
What sets Google apart is how it classifies search results, which in turn determines the order in which Google displays the results on its search engine results page (SERP). Google uses a trademark algorithm called PageRank, which assigns a relevance score to each web page.
The PageRank of a web page depends on some factors:
The frequency and location of the keywords within the web page: if the keyword only appears once inside the body of a page, you will receive a low score for that keyword.
How long has the web page existed: people create new web pages every day, and not all of them stay for a long time. Google gives more value to pages with an established history.
The number of other web pages that link to the page in question: Google notes how many web pages link to a particular site to determine its relevance.
Of these three factors, the third is the most important. It is easier to understand with an example. Let’s look at the search for the terms “Planet Earth”.
As more web pages join the Planet Earth page of Discovery, the range of the Discovery page increases. When the Discovery page is higher than other pages, it appears at the top of the Google search results page.
Because Google looks at links to a web page as a vote, it is not easy to fool the system
The best way to make sure your website is well up in Google’s search results is to provide excellent content for people to link to your page. C
The more links your page gets, the higher your PageRank score. If it attracts the attention of sites with a high PageRank score, your score will grow faster.
Google started an experiment with its search engine in 2008. For the first time, Google is allowing a group of beta testers to change the sort order of the search results.
In this experiment, beta testers can promote or degrade search results and adapt their search experience to make it more relevant on a personal level.
Google executives say there is no guarantee that the company will implement this function in the search engine worldwide.
Google offers many different types of services in addition to chat. In the next section, we’ll see how some of them work.
As Google has grown, the company has added several new services for its users. Some of the services are designed to help make searches on the Web more efficient and relevant, while others seem to have little in common with search engines.
With many of its services, Google has entered into direct competition with other companies.
Google’s specialized searches are an extension of its normal search engine protocol. With specialized searches, you can limit your search to specific resources. You can enter keywords in Google and search:
Images related to your keywords. Maps News articles or archival material. Products or services that you can buy online. Blog entries that contain the keywords you have chosen. Contents in books. Videos. Academic works.
For these searches, Google has created specialized indexes that only contain relevant sources.
For example, if you search for the term “Planet Earth” in the news category, the results will include only news articles that contain those keywords. The results will look very different from the normal Google SERP.
In recent years, Google has presented services that are not related to search engines at first glance.
For example, Google Gmail is a free web-based email program. When the service was launched for the first time, Google limited the number of users who could create accounts.
The first group of users could invite a limited number of people to join the service, so Gmail invitations became a commodity. Today, anyone can sign up for a free Gmail account.
Gmail organizes emails in conversations. This means that when you send an email to someone and he or she responds, both emails are grouped like a thread in your inbox.
This makes it easier to follow the flow of an email exchange. If you respond to your friend’s response, Google will attach your message to the end of the thread. It is easy to navigate through the email program and follow specific conversations.
Another free service from Google is Google Docs, a storage database and a suite of collaborative productivity software.
Includes word processing programs, spreadsheets and presentations. The creation of a Docs account is free and allows you to store up to 5,000 documents and images online.
Each document can have up to 500 kilobytes, and each embedded image can have up to 2 megabytes. You can share documents in Google Docs, allowing your friends to see and make changes to documents. You can also store all your documents on Google servers and access them whenever there is an Internet connection.
Google offers a popular tool called Google Maps, an online map service similar to MapQuest. Google uses map sources from companies such as NAVTEQ and TeleAtlas, as well as satellite data from DigitalGlobe and MDA Federal, to create interactive maps.
You can use Google Maps to see the location of an address or get directions to a particular destination.
Google Maps has several viewing modes. The map view is a basic roadmap, the satellite view is superimposed on a roadmap on the satellite photos of the region, the view of the terrain creates a topographic map with a roadmap superimposed and the view of the traffic uses red , yellow and green to indicate greater congestion Roads in the area.
Street view mode is available in several cities in the United States. Selecting the street view in places like Orlando, Florida, gives you the option of viewing photos taken from street level.
You can navigate the city by clicking on the arrows in the photographs and you can rotate your view 360 degrees.
Google Maps can also integrate business information. You can use Google Maps as a search engine to find a business, such as “HowStuffWorks, Atlanta, Ga.”, Which will show you the location of our office.
You can also search for business in general. If you feel like eating sushi in San Francisco, California, you can write “sushi, San Francisco” and, with a click on the Search button, Google Maps will display a map of the city with several sushi restaurants labeled.
A product related to Google Maps is Google Earth, an interactive digital globe. Use the same satellite images licensed for Google Maps, but you must download the application and install it on your computer to access all its functions.
Google Earth requires that the Internet connection be fully functional, although you can still see locations in the world even if you are not connected.
A reduced version based on the Web is also available, you can even embed it in existing websites. To learn more about this program, read “How Google Earth Works.”
The Google Toolbar is another useful add-on for users of Firefox or Internet Explorer. The toolbar has customizable buttons.
Each button is assigned to a particular function, which can include anything from viewing the PageRank of a website to translating a word from one language to another.
Google Desktop is another application that you can download for free. This program allows you to search your computer in the same way you would search the Internet using the Google search engine.
You can also choose to download Google Gadgets, computer programs that integrate seamlessly into your desktop. Each gadget does something different. Gadgets include clocks, calendars, news sources and weather reports.
In the next section, we’ll look at some of the ways that Google generates revenue.
Unlike some Internet companies, Google has multiple ways to generate income beyond private investment or sell shares of their shares. Google uses three methods to associate with merchants and advertisers: Google Checkout, Google AdWords, and Google AdSense.
Google Checkout is a service designed to facilitate online purchases for both the consumer and the retailer.
At the consumer end, users create a free Google Checkout account. Part of the account creation process includes entering a credit or debit card number, which Google stores in a secure database.
When the user visits a retailer that subscribes to Google Checkout, they can click on the payment option and Google facilitates the transaction. This means that the user does not have to enter a card number each time they make a purchase.
Retailers can set up Google Checkout accounts for free, but as of August 2008, Google charges a 2 percent fee plus 20 cents per transaction. For example, if a customer buys a $ 10 item from a merchant, Google will charge that merchant 40 cents for that transaction.
Another way that Google generates revenue is through a couple of web advertising services called AdWords and AdSense.
With AdWords, advertisers can send ads to Google that include a list of keywords related to the product, service or business. When a Google user searches the Web using one or more of those keywords, the ad appears in the SERP in a sidebar. The advertiser pays Google every time a user clicks on the ad.
AdSense is similar, except that instead of showing ads in a Google SERP, a webmaster can choose to integrate ads on his own site.
Google spiders crawl the site and analyze the content. Then, Google selects ads that contain keywords relevant to the webmaster’s site.
The webmaster can customize the location and color of the sidebar that contains the ads. Every time someone clicks on an ad on the webmaster’s site, the webmaster receives a portion of the advertising revenue (Google gets the rest).
With AdWords and AdSense, Google’s strategy is to provide targeted advertising to users. Google believes that by providing relevant advertising to the information that the user is already looking for, the chances of someone following the ad increase considerably.
In 1998, the Google team was relatively modest. Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin used Stanford equipment and donated machines to execute Google’s search engine tasks.
The team at that time included:
Two dual Pentium II servers of 300 megahertz (MHz) with 512 megabytes (MB) of memory. A four-processor IBM RS6000 F50 computer with 512 MB of memory. A Sun Ultra II dual-processor computer with 256 MB of memory. Several hard drives (some of which were housed in a box covered with LEGO bricks) ranging from 4 to 9 gigabytes (GB) for a total of more than 350 GB of storage space.
Today, Google uses hundreds of thousands of servers to provide services to its users.
Google’s strategy is to use relatively inexpensive machines that run on a custom operating system based on Linux.
A program called Google File System manages data on Google servers
Google uses servers for different tasks. The web servers receive and process the queries of the users, sending the request to the next appropriate server.
Index servers store Google search results and indexes. Document servers to store search summaries, user information, gmail and Google Docs files. The ad servers store the ads that Google displays on the search pages.
Google divides the information of each index server into blocks of 64 MB. There are three copies of each data block, and each copy is stored on a different server that runs on a separate power outlet.
The data blocks are distributed semi-randomly so that there are not two servers that have exactly the same collection of data blocks.
That way, if there is a problem with a server, the data will continue to exist in other machines.
The use of multiple copies of data to avoid an interruption in the service is called redundancy. Get more information on How the Google file system works.
A master computer handles each set of servers. The job of the master computer is to track which servers contain each block of data in the event of a catastrophe.
If a server stops working, the master computer redirects all traffic to the other servers that contain the same data.
Google business culture
Google has come a long way since Sergey Brin and Larry Page networked some computers at Stanford.
What started as a modest project is now a multi-billion dollar global organization that employs more than 19,000 people worldwide. Brin and Page are still heavily involved in Google’s operations, they are chairpersons of Google’s Technology and Products divisions, respectively.
In September 2008, Google’s market capitalization figure (Google’s share price multiplied by the number of shares of the company in circulation) was more than $ 145 billion.
Google’s shares are listed on NASDAQ as GOOG, and by the end of 2008, Google had more than 314 million shares outstanding in the market.
Google’s headquarters are located in Mountain View, California. Google shamelessly calls its campus Googleplex, a combination of the words “Google” and “complex” and a work of the term googolplex: one followed by a googol of zeros.
Life in Googleplex is pretty sweet. Here is just a small list of the services you can find there:
Several coffee stations where employees can meet to eat free food and have conversations.
Refreshments with sweets that range from sweets to healthy foods like carrots and yogurt. Several exercise rooms. Game rooms with video games, table football, pool tables and table tennis. A grand piano for those who enjoy.
In addition to these services, Google employees receive a comprehensive benefits package that includes not only medical and dental coverage, but also a host of other services.
These include tuition reimbursement, a child care center, adoption assistance services, an on-site doctor, financial planning classes, and many opportunities to meet with co-workers at special corporate events.
Google’s philosophy also gives importance to nonprofit work, so Google will match up to $ 3,000 of any employee’s contributions to nonprofit organizations.
Google has asserted itself as one of the most dominant forces on the Internet. However, the company says its mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. With such a high goal, it is a good bet that the people behind Google feel that their work is just beginning.
Also published on Medium.