Google primarily 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 tools and platforms including its more popular products: Gmail, Maps and YouTube. Most of its Web-based products are free because Google makes its money from highly integrated online advertising through its AdWords and AdSense platforms. 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 including Jotspot (documents), 2Web Technologies (spreadsheets) and Zenter (presentations). They have also made huge splashes 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.