Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps and YouTube. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing them with a rich source of information.
Google has also made strong moves into the web-based apps space with acquisitions of Jotspot (documents), 2Web Technologies (spreadsheets) and Zenter (presentations). The company has also made a splash with the acquisitions of YouTube, DoubleClick and Feedburner.
In 1996, Stanford graduate students Sergey Brin and Larry Page famously started the search company in a Stanford dorm room. The two eventually moved the company to a Menlo Park garage, which the company quickly outgrew. Sun Microsystems founder Andy Bechtolsheim was the company’s first investor with other notable investors including Ron Conway, John Doerr, Mike Moritz and Ram Shriram.
Eric Schmidt is the CEO and Chairman.
Major Search competitors include Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.