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Google.com got its start as a search engine, with an innovative approach to search algorithms. Prior to Google, search engines based results on how many times certain words appeared on a page; Google takes an intellectual leap forward from that thought and analyzes pages and ranks searches based on how an individual page is perceived elsewhere on the internet. In a very simplified way, Google searches links from other pages and ranks a specific page on how many times it's linked to by other pages, factoring their relevance as well.
Regardless of the complicated explanation, web users have deemed that Google works and it works well, ranking it consistently in the top websites in the world according to Alexa.com
Beyond being useful to searching the web, Usenet and for images, Google also owns and develops other internet-based technologies such as Gmail.com, Google Maps, Google Earth and Google SketchUp.
edit Web Search
Behind its simple interface, Google contains a powerful search engine capable of handling a number of advanced queries including:
Searching the full text of books.
Automatic translation of sites from one language to another.
Searching for local results/businesses/services in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
Search refining operations.
Ability to search for pages related to a particular result.
Alternate spellings/corrected spellings for queries.
The ability to find pages that link to a specific website URL.
The ability to to use interactive maps.
See a full list and explanations
Integrating their product line is a specialty of Google, like this Google Map which incorporates a business search.
edit Other products
Google might be considered to be the largest search engine in the world, but they have interests in other areas, for instance, amassing a network of Web 2.0 favorites:
Google Chrome -- A web browser developed by Google.
Google Maps -- A fusion of different mapping technologies with other Google services to create a robust interactive online map. Places directions, reviews and businesses in your area at your fingertips.
Google Earth -- A specialized application that lets users view anywhere on Earth in 3D using satellite images and advanced technology.
Google Sketchup -- Software for designing 3D sketches on your computer.
Gmail -- The free mail service that helps keep messages contained in "conversations" together so that users can easily catch the thread of a conversation without having to jump around or search their inbox.
Google AdSense -- Technology for advertisers to find people searching on Google and the advertising network (Ad Words) using low impact text-based ads and larger "banner" type ads. Ad Sense uses parts of Google's search technology to attempt to match up what consumers are looking for/reading about with products.
Google AdWords -- The other part of the Ad Sense world is Google's ways of allowing website owners to place unobtrusive advertising on their pages with products that are relevant to the website.
Analytics -- Creates traffic statistics for websites, dovetails with Ad Words so that webmasters can optimize their advertising campaigns based on traffic areas.
Blogger.com -- Arguably the most popular service for online blogging, Blogger was purchased by Google in 2003.
Orkut.com -- The popular online community/social networking site was created by a Google employee as an independent project.
Jot Spot -- This wiki company is used for a number of businesses. They were purchased by Google in Oct. 2006.
YouTube.com -- The acquisition of this online video powerhouse for $1.65 billlion in Oct. 2006 made headlines and still makes ripples in the Web 2.0 world.
Other offerings include desktop widgets, a web-based calendar, photo organizer and editor, spreadsheet and writer application, price search engine, news listings, weather info and more.
See GoogleLabs for more developments.
edit Holiday Logos
As infamous as the Google logo has now become, Google has had a history of playing around with their logo for holidays and famous birthdays, which has created its own buzz in the world. These modified logos show up on the google homepage only. The logos for image, video and all other searches remain the same. Would you like to see some of these holiday logos?
edit Google in the News
Acquisition of YouTube.com
On 9 Oct. 2006, YouTube.com was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion. Read the New York Times story here:
New York Times: Dot-Com Boom Echoed in Deal to Buy YouTube (10 Oct. 2006)
Or, take a look at this video from the founders of YouTube talking about the Sale:
YouTube.com: A Message from Chad and Steve
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