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At a Glance

Uppers

Best-in-class perks and benefits

Positive working environment where employees feel valued

Company name works wonders on future résumés

Downers

Large company with some bureaucracy and politics

Era of explosive growth may well be over

Company faces increasing threat from younger competitors

The Bottom Line

Google hires up to 4,000 employees per year, but receives around 1 million applications. There's a reason for those numbers: the firm is widely regarded as one of top two or three employers anywhere in the world.

About Google LLC

Google is a search engine. Core to Google's business is its ubiquitous Search product; other key products and platforms include Android, Chrome, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Play, and YouTube. The firm generates revenue through ad sales in two categories: Performance Advertising creates and delivers relevant ads that users click on, and Brand Advertising lets businesses run ad campaigns to promote brand awareness. In addition, Google Display Network allows advertisers to build a custom network of sites utilizing a wide range of targeting technologies. Google is owned by Alphabet Inc., a holding company that also includes emerging businesses such as Calico and about life sciences. The Google story begins in 1995 at Stanford University.

Operations

Since its founding as a search engine, the company has branched out to provide a wide range of popular services such as Webmail (Gmail), interactive maps (Google Maps), Web browsing (Google Chrome), voice search (Google Assistant), presentations (Google Drive), Business (Adsense), and video and music (YouTube). In addition, the organization of photos, contacts and notes are offered as well.

The company's Android operating system is a platform for mobile products. Google hardware includes Pixel phones, Chromebook laptops, Google Nest, the Google Home Hub smart display, Android Auto and OS. The company sells digital content such as apps, music, and movies through Google Play Store. It also offers a suite of cloud computing services through Google Cloud.

Beyond its advertising business, which accounts for the majority of revenue (less than 85%), the firm generates a smaller share of revenue (about 15%) from apps, movies, music, and other digital content purchased through Google Play; the sale of Google hardware devices; and Google Cloud offerings. Parent company Alphabet's non-Google offerings, which fall under the "Other Bets" business unit, account for less than half a percent of the holding company's revenue.

Geographic Reach

The Mountain View, California-based Google operates from more than 70 offices in 50 countries. International domains include Google.ba, Google.dm, Google.nr, Google.co.jp and Google.ca, and the Google interface is available in almost 110 languages.

The US accounts for over 45% of Alphabet's revenue, and Google is responsible for nearly all of Alphabet's revenue. Europe, Middle East, and Africa account for the next largest share of business (more than 30%), followed by the Asia/Pacific region (nearly 20%), and Other Americas (more than 5%).

Sales and Marketing

The customers generally purchase advertising inventory through Google Ads, Google Ad Manager as part of the Authorized Buyers marketplace, and Google Marketing Platform, among others.

Certain customers receive cash-based incentives or credits, which are accounted for as variable consideration.

The company's performance advertising creates and delivers relevant ads that users will click on, leading to direct engagement with advertisers. Most of its performance advertisers pays when a user engages in their ads. Performance advertising lets advertisers connect with users while driving measurable results. Brand advertising helps enhance users' awareness of and affinity with advertisers' products and services, through videos, text, images, and other interactive ads that run across various devices.

Strategy

Google continues to make significant R&D investments in areas of strategic focus such as advertising, cloud, machine learning, and search, as well as in new products and services. In addition, its capital expenditures have grown over the last several years. Google expects this trend to continue in the long term as it invests heavily in land and buildings for data centers and offices, and information technology infrastructure, which includes servers and network equipment.

A key part of Google's strategy is to deepen, enhance, and further the integration of its Google Cloud Platform. It also focused on continually improving the quality and applicability of its voice and translation services, strengthening security, rolling out machine-learning and natural language processing, and enhancing its G Suite of communication tools (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and Hangouts). Its Chrome Enterprise is an integrated back-end solution that provides the tools needed to run a business.

Meanwhile, as consumers increasingly use smart phones to access the internet, more people are looking at Google's ads more often. However, the company's growth — while still positive — may be showing signs of a slowdown. Mobile ad views have increased substantially, but these ads cost less than ads viewed on desktop computers, so the price Google can command for mobile ads is less.

Despite massive and rapid growth (or, perhaps, because of it), Google faces its fair share of challenges. Critics of the company have alleged it engages in anti-competitive practices, privacy violations, and data leaks, among other transgressions. Another concern for the company is rising costs. Google is spending more to acquire content for YouTube, market new hardware products, and build new data centers.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Google struck a deal to acquire wearable fitness products company Fitbit late in 2019 for about $2.1 billion. Buying Fitbit supports Google's efforts to expand its hardware offerings while positioning it to compete against Apple and Samsung Electronics in the growing smartwatch space.

Google bought CloudSimple, a software firm that helps run computing workloads based on VMware's virtualization technology, in 2019. Terms were not disclosed. The acquisition makes it easier for Google cloud customers to use VMware software.

That same year, Google agreed to buy Looker, a developer of software for analyzing big data, for $2.4 billion in cash. Looker would become part of the Google Cloud unit, providing the unit's customers with business intelligence. Google also agreed to acquire Alooma, a company that helps companies move data from multiple locations to one data warehouse, to accelerate growth of its cloud operations. In Google's case that single data warehouse would be its Google Cloud service.

Company Background

Google is the product of two computer science grad students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who met in 1995 at Stanford University where they studied methods of searching and organizing large datasets. They discovered a formula to rank the order of random search results by relevancy, and in 1997 they adopted the name Google to their findings. In 1998 the two presented their discovery at the World Wide Web Conference, and by 1999 they had raised almost $30 million in funding from private investors, venture capital firms, and Stanford University. Later that year the Google site was launched.

In 2014 the once highly secretive company went public in one of the most anticipated IPOs ever, raising $1.6 billion. Alphabet was launched the following as the holding company for Google and other subsidiaries. The corporate restructure was designed to provide some separation between Google's core search business and its increasingly diverse side projects. Alphabet replaced Google as the publicly-traded entity.

Google LLC

1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy
Mountain View, CA 94043-1351
Phone: 1 (251) 227-9300

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
VP and CEO, Google Israel: Meir Brand
CEO: Sundar Pichai
SVP and CFO, Alphabet Inc. and Google, Inc.: Ruth M. Porat
Employees (This Location): 250
Employees (All Locations): 61,814

Major Office Locations

Mountain View, CA

Other Locations

Culver City, CA
Irvine, CA
Milpitas, CA
Mountain View, CA
San Bruno, CA
San Francisco, CA
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Venice, CA
Boulder, CO
Washington, DC
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Chicago, IL
Elk Grove Village, IL
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New York, NY
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Madison, WI
Kitchener, Canada
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