Google Inc. began in 1996 as the brainchild of two bright computer science grad students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. These two intellectually gifted men met in 1995 at Stanford University where they were doing their PhDs. During their time together at Stanford, both came up with creative ways of finding and organizing large amounts of data. After that, Brin and Page developed a technology called PageRank that enabled them to analyze a particular website’s significance. The idea of a search engine occurred to Brin and Page after they came up with the idea for PageRank. The search engine was based on the on the same algorithm that PageRank used, but would be much more effective at obtaining better and accurate results than existing search engines. The idea soon became the world famous search engine simply known as Google that was launched on September 15, 1997. Brin and Page’s company was formally incorporated on September 4, 1998 at an acquaintance’s garage in Menlo Park, California. Google, a play on words, received its name from “googol”, the mathematical equivalent of the number one followed by a hundred zeros.
Naming the company Google was seen by both Brin and Page as the perfect way to reflect their original mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Over the years, Google has become so popular that is has gained a vast number of followers who liked its simple design and useful results. In 2000, Google began selling text-based advertisements associated with search keywords in order to maintain an uncluttered page design so that speed is maximized when loading a page. Their innovative advertising system, comprised of its AdWords and AdSense products, is so successful that 99% of their revenue is derived from it. However, the technological industry demands constant innovation and Google’s strong focus on continuous improvement is reflected in the company’s ever expanding line of innovative services and products that includes webmail (Gmail), blogging (Blogger), and interactive maps (Google Maps). Google’s strong organizational culture that includes values such as creativity, simplicity and innovation plays a huge role in their tremendous success and gives them a huge competitive advantage over their rivals in the search engine market.