Audience versions of this page: FamilyOn September 4, 1998, Stanford University graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated their company, Google, in Menlo Park, California. Google is a play on the word “googol,” a term for the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Google’s mission was to search the web and provide a googol of information, neatly organized.Google organizes and orders its search results using algorithms. Algorithms are step-by-step mathematical processes. Some of the data Google uses in its algorithms include how many times the specific computer or other device has looked for the term or similar terms, how many times everyone using Google has searched for the term or similar terms, and the device’s area code. Google’s algorithms are some of the most valuable and protected corporate assets in the world.Google was not the first Internet search engine—that would be Archie, developed at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1990. Google, however, is the largest search engine in the world today, with a 67% market share and about three billion searches every day. The company is worth almost $60 billion (not quite a googol) and employs almost 50,000 people around the world.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry algorithm Noun
set of steps for solving a mathematical problem.
property or another valuable item that is possessed by someone.
device designed to access data, perform prescribed tasks at high speed, and display the results.
computer science Noun
study of the design and operation of computer hardware and software, and the applications of computer technology.
having to do with a corporation or large business.
data Plural Noun
(singular: datum) information collected during a scientific study.
tool or piece of machinery.
one followed by 100 zeroes.
graduate student Noun
person who pursues a college or university degree program beyond the basic bachelor's degree.
to form into a legal corporation.
vast, worldwide system of linked computers and computer networks.
market share Noun
percentage of an industry's total profit or use achieved by a specific company.
to coordinate and give structure to.
search engine Noun
computer program that searches documents on the World Wide Web based on a keyword or set of keywords, and presents the results in a list.
exact or precise.
system of linked documents contained on the Internet.