Google is an American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products that include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware.
Google was founded in 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, California. Together, they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering (IPO) took place on August 19, 2004, and Google moved to its new headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex.
In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet. Google, Alphabet's leading subsidiary, will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Upon completion of the restructure, Sundar Pichai became CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page, who became CEO of Alphabet.
Rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine (Google Search). It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs, Sheets and Slides), email (Gmail/Inbox), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), social networking (Google+), instant messaging and video chat (Google Allo/Duo/Hangouts), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and turn-by-turn navigation (Google Maps), video sharing (YouTube), taking notes (Google Keep), and organizing and editing photos (Google Photos). The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based around the Chrome browser. Google has moved increasingly into hardware; from 2010 to 2015, it partnered with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its Nexus devices, and in October 2016, it launched multiple hardware products (the Google Pixel, Home, Wifi, and Daydream View), with new hardware chief Rick Osterloh stating that "a lot of the innovation that we want to do now ends up requiring controlling the end-to-end user experience". Google has also experimented with becoming an Internet network operator. In February 2010, it announced Google Fiber, a fiber-optic infrastructure that was installed in Kansas City; in April 2015, it launched Project Fi, combining Wi-Fi and cellular networks from different providers in an effort to create a seamless and fast wireless Internet experience; and in 2016, the company launched the Google Station initiative to make public "high-quality, secure, easily accessible Wi-Fi" around the world, which had already been deployed in India.
An August 2011 report estimated that Google had almost one million servers in data centers around the world. It processed over one billion search requests per day in 2009, and about 20 petabytes of data each day in 2008.
Alexa, a company that monitors commercial web traffic, lists Google.com as the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services also figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger. Google has been the second most valuable brand in the world for 4 consecutive years, and has a valuation in 2016 at $133 billion.
Google's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," and its unofficial slogan was "Don't be evil". In October 2015, the motto was replaced in the Alphabet corporate code of conduct by the phrase: "Do the right thing". Google's commitment to such robust idealism has been increasingly called into doubt due to a number of actions and behaviours which appear to contradict this.