Find the latest episode of "This Is Uncomfortable" here. Listen

Google corporate history

Marketplace Staff Jul 6, 2009

Company History

Google, the search-engine giant whose name has become one of the most-used words in the world, started as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, doctoral students at Stanford. The co-founders settled on the word Google, which references a mathematical term, for their search engine.

The new company was incorporated in 1998, and by the end of that year it was widely considered the best search engine on the Internet.

In 2004, the company launched an initial public offering through a Dutch auction that opened the bidding for even small investors. On the day of the IPO, shares were sold for $85 apiece. Today, shares have jumped to more than $400 each.

The company has continued to expand its services beyond searches. Google’s major acquisitions over the years include the online ad company DoubleClick, the mobile phone platform company Android, and the video streaming site YouTube.

In 2006, after its name became part of everyday lexicon, “Google” officially became a verb. Both the Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary added the search engine’s name to their definitions.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.