Google AdWords is an online advertising service, developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy to web users. Google AdWords’ system is partly based on cookies and keywords predefined by the advertisers. Web pages from Google and from partner websites are designed to allow Google to select and display the advertising copy selected. Advertisers pay when users divert their browsing to seek more information about the copy displayed, and partner websites receive a portion of the income that is generated.
AdWords has evolved into Google’s main source of revenue, contributing to Google’s total advertising revenues of USD $43.7 billion in 2012. AdWords offers pay-per-click (PPC) (cost-per-click (CPC) advertising), cost-per-acquisition (CPA) advertising, cost-per-thousand-impressions, or cost per mille (CPM) advertising, site-targeted advertising for text, banner, and rich-media ads, and re-marketing (also known as re-targeting). The AdWords program includes local, national, and international distribution. Google’s text advertisements are short, consisting of one headline of 30 characters, two additional text lines of 40 characters each, and a display URL of 40 characters. Image ads can be one of the several different Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standard sizes. In May 2016, Google announced its reformatting of ads to help consumers and advertisers succeed in a mobile-first world. The new format, called Expanded Text Ads, allows for 23% more text. This new format is available on both the Google Search Network and the Google Display network. It features two headlines with 30 characters each, to replace the single headline of 30 characters. The new description also allows 80 characters and replaces the two descriptions lines of 35 characters each. The display URL has been replaced with two 15 character paths, and the characters do not include the root domain. Emojis, and other uncharacteristic characters, are not allowed and reviews can be requested.
Sales and support for Google’s AdWords division in the United States is based in Mountain View, California, with major secondary offices in Hyderabad, Dublin, Singapore, Ann Arbor and New York City. The third-largest US facility is in Mountain View, California, headquarters. Engineering for Google AdWords is based in Mountain View, California with major secondary offices in Los Angeles and New York.
Google has an active official public help and support community maintained and frequented by highly experienced AdWords users (referred to as “Top Contributors”) and Google employees. In 2011, AdWords represented 96% of Google’s revenue.
Google Chrome is a freeware web browser developed by Google. It was first released in 2008, for Microsoft Windows, and was later ported to Linux, macOS, iOS and Android. Google Chrome is also the main component of Chrome OS, where it serves as a platform for running web apps.
Google releases the majority of Chrome’s source code as the Chromium open-source project. A notable component that is not open-source is the built-in Adobe Flash Player (that Chrome has disabled by default since September 2016). Chrome used the WebKit layout engine until version 27. As of version 28, all Chrome ports except the iOS port use Blink, a fork of the WebKit engine.
As of February 2017, StatCounter estimates that Google Chrome has a 62% worldwide usage share of web browsers as a desktop browser. It also has 52% market share across all platforms combined, because it is also the most popular browser for smartphones. Its success has led to Google expanding the “Chrome” brand name on various other products such as Chromecast, Chromebook, Chromebit, Chromebox and Chromebase.
Android (stylized as android) is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android’s user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch gestures that loosely correspond to real-world actions, such as swiping, tapping and pinching, to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard for text input. In addition to touchscreen devices, Google has further developed Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars, and Android Wear for wrist watches, each with a specialized user interface. Variants of Android are also used on notebooks, game consoles, digital cameras, and other electronics.
Android has the largest installed base of all operating systems (OS) of any kind. Android has been the best selling OS on tablets since 2013, and on smartphones it is dominant by any metric.
Initially developed by Android, Inc., which Google bought in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance – a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. As of July 2013, the Google Play store has had over one million Android applications (“apps”) published – including many “business-class apps” that rival competing mobile platforms – and as of May 2016 over 65 billion applications downloaded. An April–May 2013 survey of mobile application developers found that 71% of developers create applications for Android, and a 2015 survey found that 40% of full-time professional developers see Android as their priority target platform, which is comparable to Apple’s iOS on 37% with both platforms far above others. In September 2015, Android had 1.4 billion monthly active devices.
Android’s source code is released by Google under an open source license, although most Android devices ultimately ship with a combination of free and open source and proprietary software, including proprietary software required for accessing Google services. Android is popular with technology companies that require a ready-made, low-cost and customizable operating system for high-tech devices. Its open nature has encouraged a large community of developers and enthusiasts to use the open-source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which deliver updates to older devices, add new features for advanced users or bring Android to devices originally shipped with other operating systems. The success of Android has made it a target for patent (and copyright) litigation as part of the so-called “smartphone wars” between technology companies.
Google AdSense is a program run by Google that allows publishers in the Google Network of content sites to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, that are targeted to site content and audience. These advertisements are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google. They can generate revenue on either a per-click or per-impression basis. Google beta-tested a cost-per-action service, but discontinued it in October 2008 in favor of a DoubleClick offering (also owned by Google). In Q1 2014, Google earned US $3.4 billion ($13.6 billion annualized), or 22% of total revenue, through Google AdSense. AdSense is a participant in the AdChoices program, so AdSense ads typically include the triangle-shaped AdChoices icon. This program also operates on HTTP cookies. Over 14 million websites are using AdSense.
Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google launched the service in November 2005 after acquiring Urchin. Google Analytics is now the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet. Google Analytics is offered also in two additional versions: the subscription based Google Analytics 360, previously Google Analytics Premium, targeted at enterprise users and Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, an SDK that allows gathering usage data from iOS and Android Apps.
DoubleClick is a subsidiary of Google which develops and provides Internet ad serving services. Its clients include agencies, marketers (Universal McCann, AKQA etc.) and publishers who serve customers like Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola, L’Oréal, Palm, Inc., Apple Inc., Visa USA, Nike, Carlsberg among others. DoubleClick’s headquarters is in New York City, United States. DoubleClick was founded in 1996 by Kevin O’Connor and Dwight Merriman. It was formerly listed as “DCLK” on the NASDAQ, and was purchased by private equity firms Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity in July 2005. In March 2008, Google acquired DoubleClick for US$3.1 billion.
Google Pixel is a line of consumer electronic devices from Google that run either the Chrome OS or Android operating system. The Pixel line of devices includes the Pixel C tablet, Chromebook Pixel laptops, and the Pixel smartphones and can be bought over the Google Store or at retail stores. On March 1, 2017, Google announced that it is stopping the laptop line as sales are low.
Google announced the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones on October 4, 2016 during the #MadeByGoogle event. The two Smartphones ship with Android 7.1 Nougat.
- Display: 5.0″ AMOLED display with 1080×1920 pixel resolution (Pixel); 5.5″ AMOLED display with 1440×2560 pixel resolution (Pixel XL). 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
- Storage: 32 GB or 128 GB
- Memory: 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM
- Cameras: 12.3 MP rear camera with f/2.0 lens and IR laser-assisted autofocus; 1,55 μm Pixel size. 8 MP front camera with f/2.4 lens
- Battery: 2,770 mAH (Pixel); 3,450 mAH (Pixel XL); both are non-removable and have fast charging
- Colors: Silver, Black, or Really Blue (Limited Edition)
- Pixel Imprint
Google emphasizes the camera on the two phones, which ranks as the best smartphone camera on DxOMarkMobile with 89 points. This is largely due to software optimizations such as HDR+. The Pixel phones also include unlimited cloud storage for pictures on Google Photos.
Google Patents is a search engine from Google that indexes more than 87 million patents and patent applications with full text from 17 patent offices, including:
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO),
- European Patent Office (EPO),
- China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO),
- Japan Patent Office (JPO),
- Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO),
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),
- Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA),
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO),
- Russia, UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands.
These documents include the entire collection of granted patents and published patent applications from each database (which belong to the public domain). US patent documents date back to 1790, EPO and WIPO to 1978. Optical character recognition (OCR) has been performed on the older US patents to make them searchable, and Google Translate has been used on all non-English patents to make the English translations searchable.
Google Patents also indexes documents from Google Scholar and Google Books, and has machine-classified them with Cooperative Patent Classification codes for searching.
Google Shopping, formerly Google Product Search, Google Products and Froogle, is a Google service invented by Craig Nevill-Manning which allows users to search for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different vendors.
Originally, the service listed prices submitted by merchants, and was monetized through AdWords advertising like other Google services. However, in May 2012, Google announced that the service (which was also immediately renamed Google Shopping) would shift in late-2012 to a paid model where merchants would have to pay the company in order to list their products on the service.
Alongside the announcement of an immediate re-brand to Google Shopping on May 31, 2012, Google also announced that in late 2012, it would change the service to use a “pay-to-play” model, where merchants would have to pay Google to list their products on the service, with results influenced by both relevance and the bid amounts they pay. Google justified the move by stating that it would allow the service to “deliver the best answers for people searching for products and help connect merchants with the right customers.”
The change proved controversial; some small businesses showed concern that they would not be able to compete with larger companies that can afford a larger advertising budget. Microsoft’s Bing also attacked the move in an advertising campaign known as “Scroogled”, which called Google out for using “deceptive advertising practices” and suggesting that users use its competing Bing Shopping service instead.
Google also revealed plans to integrate Google Catalogs with Google Shopping, to give users “more ways to find ideas and inspiration as you shop and engage with your favorite brand”.
Google Maps is a web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets (Street View), real-time traffic conditions (Google Traffic), and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle (in beta), or public transportation.
Google Maps’ satellite view is a “top-down” or “birds eye” view; most of the high-resolution imagery of cities is aerial photography taken from aircraft flying at 800 to 1,500 feet (240 to 460 m), while most other imagery is from satellites. Much of the available satellite imagery is no more than three years old and is updated on a regular basis. Google Maps uses a close variant of the Mercator projection, and therefore cannot accurately show areas around the poles.
The current redesigned version of the desktop application was made available in 2013, alongside the “classic” (pre-2013) version. Google Maps for mobile was released in September 2008 and features GPS turn-by-turn navigation. In August 2013, it was determined to be the world’s most popular app for smartphones, with over 54% of global smartphone owners using it at least once.
In 2012, Google reported having over 7,100 employees and contractors directly working in mapping.
Google Images is a search service owned by Google and introduced on July 12, 2001, that allows users to search the Web for image content. The keywords for the image search are based on the filename of the image, the link text pointing to the image, and text adjacent to the image. When searching for an image, a thumbnail of each matching image is displayed. When the user clicks on a thumbnail, the image is played in a box over the website that it came from. The user can then close the box and browse the website, or view the full-sized image.
Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Released in beta in November 2004, the Google Scholar index includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents. While Google does not publish the size of Google Scholar’s database, third-party researchers estimated it to contain roughly 160 million documents as of May 2014 and an earlier statistical estimate published in PLOS ONE using a Mark and recapture method estimated approximately 80-90% coverage of all articles published in English with an estimate of 100 million. This estimate also determined how many documents were freely available on the web.
Google Scholar is similar in function to the freely available CiteSeerX and getCITED. It also resembles the subscription-based tools, Elsevier’s Scopus and Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science.
Google Finance is a website launched on March 21, 2006, by Google. The service features business and enterprise headlines for many corporations including their financial decisions and major news events. Stock information is available, as are Adobe Flash-based stock price charts which contain marks for major news events and corporate actions. The site also aggregates Google News and Google Blog Search articles about each corporation, though links are not screened and often deemed untrustworthy. Google added advertising to its finance page on November 18, 2008, which continues to be shown. Google launched a revamped version of their finance site on December 12, 2006, featuring a new homepage design which lets users see currency information, sector performance for the United States market and a listing of top market movers along with the relevant and important news of the day. A top movers section was also added, based on popularity determined by Google Trends. The upgrade also featured charts containing up to 40 years of data for U.S. stocks, and richer portfolio options. Another update brought real-time ticker updates for stocks to the site, as both NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange partnered with Google in June 2008.
Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search and Google Print) is a service from Google Inc. that searches the full text of books and magazines that Google has scanned, converted to text using optical character recognition (OCR), and stored in its digital database. Books are provided either by publishers and authors, through the Google Books Partner Program, or by Google’s library partners, through the Library Project. Additionally, Google has partnered with a number of magazine publishers to digitize their archives.
The Publisher Program was first known as ‘Google Print’ when it was introduced at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2004. The Google Books Library Project, which scans works in the collections of library partners and adds them to the digital inventory, was announced in December 2004.
The Google Books initiative has been hailed for its potential to offer unprecedented access to what may become the largest online body of human knowledge and promoting the democratization of knowledge. But it has also been criticized for potential copyright violations, and lack of editing to correct the many errors introduced into the scanned texts by the OCR process.
As of October 2015, the number of scanned book titles was over 25 million, but the scanning process has slowed down in American academic libraries. Google estimated in 2010 that there were about 130 million distinct titles in the world, and stated that it intended to scan all of them.
Results from Google Books show up in both the universal Google Search as well as in the dedicated Google Books search website (books.google.com).
In response to search queries, Google Books allows users to view full pages from books in which the search terms appear, if the book is out of copyright or if the copyright owner has given permission. If Google believes the book is still under copyright, a user sees “snippets” of text around the queried search terms. All instances of the search terms in the book text appear with a yellow highlight.
The four access levels used on Google Books are:
- Full view: Books in the public domain are available for “full view” and can be downloaded for free. In-print books acquired through the Partner Program are also available for full view if the publisher has given permission, although this is rare.
- Preview: For in-print books where permission has been granted, the number of viewable pages is limited to a “preview” set by a variety of access restrictions and security measures, some based on user-tracking. Usually, the publisher can set the percentage of the book available for preview. Users are restricted from copying, downloading or printing book previews. A watermark reading “Copyrighted material” appears at the bottom of pages. All books acquired through the Partner Program are available for preview.
- Snippet view: A ‘snippet view’ – two to three lines of text surrounding the queried search term – is displayed in cases where Google does not have permission of the copyright owner to display a preview. This could be because Google cannot identify the owner or the owner declined permission. If a search term appears many times in a book, Google displays no more than three snippets, thus preventing the user from viewing too much of the book. Also, Google does not display any snippets for certain reference books, such as dictionaries, where the display of even snippets can harm the market for the work. Google maintains that no permission is required under copyright law to display the snippet view.
- No preview: Google also displays search results for books that have not been digitized. As these books have not been scanned, their text is not searchable and only the metadata information such as the title, author, publisher, number of pages, ISBN, subject and copyright information, and in some cases, a table of contents and book summary is available. In effect, this is similar to an online library card catalog.
Google News is an advertising-supported news aggregator provided and operated by Google, selecting news from thousands of news websites. A beta version was launched in September 2002, and released officially in January 2006. The initial idea was developed by Krishna Bharat.
Google News watches more than 4500 news sources worldwide. Versions for more than 60 regions in 28 languages were available in March 2012. As of September 2015, service is offered in the following 35 languages: Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.
The service covers news articles appearing within the past 30 days on various news websites. In total, Google News aggregates content from more than 25,000 publishers. For the English language, it covers about 4,500 sites; for other languages, fewer. Its front page provides roughly the first 200 characters of the article and a link to its larger content. Websites may or may not require a subscription; sites requiring subscription are noted in the article description.
On December 1, 2009, Google announced changes to their “first click free” program, which has been running since 2008 and allows users to find and read articles behind a paywall. The reader’s first click to the content is free, and the number after that would be set by the content provider.
The layout of Google News underwent a major revision on May 16, 2011. On July 14, 2011, Google introduced “Google News Badges,” which it later retired in October 2012.
Additionally in July 2011, the Sci/Tech section of the English Google News versions was split up into two sections: Science and Technology. It was announced that this section split would be performed on other language versions as well. As of early 2013, this split had not been applied to all language versions of Google News.
In 2017, Google added a section entitled “Executive Orders” specifically targeting the next President, Donald Trump’s, new White House administration. The section was placed third from the top on the Google News page sections for prominent viewing. It received user backlash accusing the change of being “inappropriate and agenda-driven”.