Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program. The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, often dubbed the "Google Guys", while the two were attending Stanford University as PhD candidates. It was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, and its initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. At that time Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt agreed to work together at Google for twenty years, until the year 2024. The company's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", and the company's unofficial slogan – coined by Google engineer Paul Buchheit – is "Don't be evil". In 2006, the company moved to its current headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Google runs over one million servers in data centers around the world, and processes over one billion search requests and about twenty-four petabytes of user-generated data every day. Google's rapid growth since its incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond the company's core web search engine. The company offers online productivity software, such as its Gmail email service, and social networking tools, including Orkut and, more recently, Google Buzz. Google's products extend to the desktop as well, with applications such as the web browser Google Chrome, the Picasa photo organization and editing software, and the Google Talk instant messaging application. Notably, Google leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, used on a number of phones such as the Nexus One and Motorola Droid. Alexa lists the main U.S.-focused google.com site as the Internet's most visited website, and numerous international Google sites (google.co.in, google.co.uk etc.) are in the top hundred, as are several other Google-owned sites such as YouTube, Blogger, and Orkut. Google is also BrandZ's most powerful brand in the world. The dominant market position of Google's services has led to criticism of the company over issues including privacy, copyright, and censorship.
Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in California.