Updated: 02/04/2024 by Computer Hope
Google logo

Originally known as BackRub. Google is a search engine that started development in 1996 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page as a research project at Stanford University to find files on the Internet. Larry and Sergey later decided the name of their search engine needed to change and chose Google, inspired by the term googol. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

Google beginnings

The domain was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998. The picture below is a capture of the site from The Internet Archive of what Google looked like in 1998.

Google in 1998


As of August 10, 2015, Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

What helps Google stand out from its competition, helps it continue to grow, and be the number one search engine is its PageRank technique that sorts search results. While one of the best search engines on the Internet, Google also incorporates its other services, like Google Maps and Google Local, to provide more relevant search results.

How to open Google

To open Google, click this link:, or in your web browser address bar, type "" and press Enter.

Once the Google website is open, in the search box, type a word or phrase, and press Enter or click the Google Search button. If done successfully, you'll be given search results.


Most browser's address bars are an omnibox, meaning instead of going to to search, you can type what you are searching for without going to Google.


Some users may confuse "Google" with the web browser Google Chrome. To open the Google Chrome web browser, see our Google Chrome page.

Other Google products and services

  • Android - The most widely used operating system for smartphones.
  • Blogger - View and create a personal blog.
  • Chromebook - Laptop using the Google ChromeOS.
  • ChromeOS - An operating system developed by Google for the Chromebook.
  • Gmail - Free online e-mail service with over 1 GB of storage and the best spam protection available.
  • Google Ad Manager - Originally known as DoubleClick, Google Ad Manager allows publishers to manage their ad inventory.
  • Google Ads - Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads is a service that enables users to pay to advertise on the Google search engine and other websites using Google AdSense.
  • Google AdSense - A service that pays website publishers or blog developers to show advertisements on their site.
  • Google Alerts - Create alert text messages sent to an e-mail address each day or as they happen.
  • Google Analytics - Google Analytics allows websites to monitor and create website visitors' reports.
  • Google App Engine - A service that allows uers to create scalable web services that use Google's resources.
  • Google Assistant - Digital assistant service by Google that uses artificial intelligence to respond to voice requests.
  • Google Blog - A blog maintained by Google that helps give an insight into the company.
  • Google Books - Another fantastic service from Google containing hundreds of thousands of books that can be searched.
  • Google Calendar - A way to organize your schedule, synchronize, and share events with your friends.
  • Google Chrome - The most popular desktop Internet browser.
  • Google Classroom - Google service that allows students and teachers to participate in a digital class.
  • Google Cloud - Service for businesses to store data, run applications in the cloud, and backup and disaster recovery.
  • Google CSE (custom search engine) - A service that lets you create a custom Google Search engine.
  • Google Data Liberation Front - A team at Google who helps users move their data to other companies products.
  • Google Daydream View - VR (virtual reality) headset.
  • Google Developer - A place to find all Google developer documentation, resources, events, and products.
  • Google Docs - A fantastic free solution from Google that lets you create documents, open Microsoft Word documents, and share your documents with other users with Internet access.
  • Google Drive - A cloud storage service from Google introduced on April 24, 2012, that allows users to view, edit, and store their documents and files in the Google Cloud.
  • Google Duo - A cross-platform video calling application for Android smartphones and other Google and third-party operating systems.
  • Google Earth - A fantastic program that allows a person to view almost everywhere on Earth, get directions, find close shops and places of interest, and more.
  • Google Fiber - A limited service available in some places in the United States that offers a fiber connection to the Internet.
  • Google Fonts - A collection of thousands of fonts for use on your web page.
  • Google Forms - A feature of Google Docs that allows users to create a form that collects information for personal or business use.
  • Google Fuchsia - An open source operating system.
  • Google Gemini - Officially released on December 6, 2023, Google Gemini is an AI (artificial intelligence) system that generates content.
  • Google Glass - AR (augmented reality) glasses.
  • Google Green Light - Google service to analyze vehicle traffic patterns at intersections and recommend traffic light changes to reduce wait times at red lights and improve overall traffic flow.
  • Google Groups - Google's bulletin board with millions of users and postings.
  • Google Home - Voice-activated virtual digital assistant that assists users with questions.
  • Google Homepage - Google's main page and search engine.
  • Google Images - Google search for finding images instead of text.
  • Google Keep - Fantastic service for keeping and storing notes and tasks.
  • Google Lens - An image recognition technology that identifies objects and displays information about them using Google Search.
  • Google Mail - More well-known as Gmail, the most popular e-mail host.
  • Google Maps - A great feature that enables users to search for directions from one location to another, search for local businesses, and more.
  • Google Meet - A video-meeting application that integrates with Google Chat and replaces the functionalities previously found in Hangouts.
  • Google Moon - In celebration of the first Moon landing, Google created this page with a map of our Moon and each of the moon landings.
  • Google My Maps - A feature in Google Maps that allows users to create custom maps for personal use or share with others.
  • Google Nest - Google home automation and security products, including the Nest thermostat.
  • Google News - Great news site automatically generated using the results of news sites queried by Google.
  • Google Ngram Viewer - Great tool for searching books and other printed materials for the frequency of words or phrases.
  • Google Now - Service primarily used by mobile users that gives the most relevant information relating to you based on your searching and driving habits.
  • Google Patents - Allows users to search over 7 million patents.
  • Google Photos - Online cloud storage for photos and videos, allowing users to upload, organize, and share with other users.
  • Google Pixel - Google smartphone.
  • Google Play Music- A service that allows users to stream, download, and upload music to a personal library and create and listen to radio stations. It is usable across multiple devices. Additionally, Google Play Music offers unlimited song streaming for a monthly fee.
  • Google Scholar - Allows users to search for scholarly literature.
  • Google Search Console - Formerly Google Webmaster Tools, a great service provided by Google that enables webmasters to view, maintain, and control how Google indexes their web pages.
  • Google Sheets - A fantastic free solution from Google that lets you create spreadsheets, open Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and share your spreadsheets with other users that have Internet access.
  • Google Shopping - Formerly known as Froogle, Google Shopping is a search service for finding products based on prices, location, type, etc.
  • Google Sites - A service that enables users to create and share websites.
  • Google Slides - A presentation program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Google SMS - Enables users to send text messages over their mobile using SMS (short message service) to get quick answers, such as driving directions, movie show times, local business listings, etc.
  • Google Street View - A great service that allows anyone to drive down the streets worldwide.
  • Google Tag Manager - A service allowing website publishers to add and remove tags through a web-based user interface instead of directly updating HTML (hypertext markup language) code.
  • Google Takeout - A utility that allows users to download their Google data from various apps, programs, and services.
  • Google Translate - Translate a foreign language web page or text into your language.
  • Google Trends - List the 100 most active Google search queries and compare keywords for top keyword.
  • Google Video - Search for online videos hosted by Google and transcript text of videos and TV shows.
  • Google Voice - Use Google search over the phone using your voice.
  • Google Wallet - A payment service developed by Google that allows people to send and receive money from others.
  • Google Workspace - A suite of cloud software for businesses.
  • - The philanthropic arm of Google.
  • My Activity - Utility that tracks your history when you use Google's services.
  • Quick, Draw! - Drawing game to help test artificial intelligence.
  • Waze - A GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation application for mobile devices.
  • WebP - Compressed image format.
  • Wing - A drone delivery service that delivers lightweight items over short distances.
  • YouTube - Video service that allows users to upload and view other videos freely.

We suggest you visit our Google tips page for additional tips on using all Google services.

What is a Googler?

A Googler is a Google employee. When discussing a user, a Googler refers to someone who uses the Google search engine frequently.

Google Easter eggs

Google also has several well-known hidden Easter eggs throughout its services. Below are known Easter eggs.

Discontinued Google services

Below is a listing of many discontinued Google services that are no longer supported, deprecated, merged into other products, or sold off to other companies.

  • Google+ - Google social networking site that was discontinued for consumers on April 2, 2019. Although no longer used by the public, Google+ is still used internally at Google as a way for employees to communicate and share ideas.
  • Google Allo was a mobile instant messaging app developed for Android and iOS to exchange messages, images, files, and videos. Allo was discontinued on March 12, 2019.
  • Google Answers - Discontinued in December 2006. The site is still online but can only be read and not edited or have new questions be asked.
  • Google Base - A database service provided by Google, the service and API (application programming interface) was deprecated on December 17, 2010.
  • Google Bookmarks - Was a social bookmarking service from Google that launched on October 10, 2005, and was later discontinued on September 30, 2021.
  • Google Buzz - Discontinued on December 15, 2011; Google Buzz was a social networking site replaced by Google+.
  • Google Checkout - A service that provided users and sellers with an easy and secure method of paying each other. The service was discontinued on November 20, 2013, and replaced with Google Wallet.
  • Google Cloud Print - A cloud printing solution discontinued on December 31, 2020.
  • Google Code - Allowed users to view source code on websites discontinued on March 12, 2015. Thousands of Google open source products were moved to GitHub.
  • Google Code Search - A search tool that allowed developers to search for open source code.
  • Google Deskbar and Google Desktop - Small software utility that adds a Google search to the Microsoft Windows Taskbar, allowing users to search without opening a browser.
  • Google Dictionary - An online dictionary search service discontinued as it became integrated into the Google search.
  • Google Directory - Browse the open directory of web pages modified to list the directory listings by Google's PageRank technology.
  • Google Domains - Domain registrar service from Google that lets you register a domain name with more than 300 domain endings. Service was sold to Squarespace in 2023.
  • Google Express - A delivery service available in most states that was discontinued in 2019.
  • Google Fast Flip - An online news aggregator from Google discontinued in September 2011.
  • Google Hangouts - Communication platform for messaging, SMS, video chat, and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). To be shut down in November 2022.
  • Google Helpouts - Originally launched in November 2013, Google Helpouts was a service that allowed users to share their knowledge and experience with other users with live help and video. The service officially closed on April 20, 2015.
  • Google Labs - A section of Google that once displayed upcoming features. This section was later discontinued.
  • Google Market - The original location to find apps for Android. Google Market was rebranded into Google Play in 2012.
  • Google Moderator - A tool from Google that allows anyone to collect the best input from an audience of any size. The service was discontinued on June 30, 2015.
  • Google Play - A service that allows users to search and download apps, books, movies, and music for Android devices. The service was shut down in 2020 and moved to YouTube Music.
  • Google Podcasts - A service that started in 2016 to help distribute and manage podcasts. The service was shut down in 2024 with plans on allowing access through YouTube Music instead.
  • Google Reader - An RSS/Atom reader discontinued on July 1, 2013.
  • Google Sets - Type in a few similar keywords to list more words that relate to the words you typed.
  • Google SketchUp - A tool for creating and sharing 3-D models that was transferred to Trimble on June 1, 2012.
  • Google Talk - Instant Messenger program that used XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol). In May 2013, Google announced plans to drop XMPP support for its proprietary standard used with Google Hangouts.
  • Google Tango - Augmented reality computing platform discontinued on December 15, 2017.
  • Google Toolbar - For early Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer and Firefox users. Google Toolbar add-on enables users using these browsers to access Google search and other Google features whenever the browser is open.
  • Google URL Shortener - Service used to shorten long URLs (uniform resource locator). Transitioned to FDL (Firebase Dynamic Links).
  • Google Web Accelerator - For broadband users, Google Web Accelerator was used to help speed up browsing.
  • iGoogle - Personalized Google page that allowed you to add links, RSS feeds, games, and more.
  • Orkut - A social networking site that provided a location to socialize with your friends and family and meet new acquaintances worldwide. Google stopped the Orkut service on September 30, 2014.
  • Picasa - A free Microsoft Windows program to view images, manage images, and more. The program was retired and replaced with Google Photos on March 15, 2016.
  • Project Ara - An experimental smartphone that featured a modular design. The project was canceled in 2016.
  • Stadia - Online gaming streaming service that was canceled in 2022.
  • YouTube Video Editor - A free feature of YouTube that allowed users to edit videos. As of September 20, 2017, Google discontinued the service but kept the ability to allow users to add enhancements to their videos.

See the Killed by Google site for a full list of all products in the Google graveyard that were killed.

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