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July 1, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 1:27pm

6 businesses that Google is in

From social media to mobile Wi-Fi, Google has most bases covered.

By Ben Sullivan

Google, founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, has become one of the most synonymous names in technology over the past 16 years. Starting off as a search engine pioneering the ‘pagerank’ method of retrieving results, Google has grown into many areas, six of which are detailed below.


Devices

Not content with being the world’s biggest search engine, Google quickly expanded its technology offerings in 2010 with the first ever Nexus smartphone, the Nexus One. It operated on Android 2.1 Éclair, and the Nexus One was quickly replaced year on year with a new Nexus smartphone, with the Nexus S coming in late 2010, followed by the Galaxy Nexus in 2011, Nexus 4 in 2012, and Nexus in 2013.

Tablets also play a part in Google’s device range, with the successful Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets fighting a fierce competition with Apple’s iPad ever since their launch in 2012.

Google has hit a few bum notes with its devices, however. The Nexus Q was a media streaming device that went to market in 2012 and sold for $299. But after many complaints for the lack of features in such an expensive device, the Nexus Q was shelved indefinitely soon after release, with Google saying it needed time to make the device even better.

In 2013, we got the Chromecast. Much like the Nexus Q, Chromecast was billed as a media streaming device which lets users stream content from compantible devices (smartphones/tablets/laptops) to their TVs.

Google also has a range of ultra-portable laptops called Chromebooks, made in association with various OEMs much like the Nexus devices. Chromebooks come pre-installed with Chrome OS, Google’s operating system version of its Chrome web browser.

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nexus5

Storage

Google entered the Infrastructure-as-a-Service race in 2010 with the release of Google Cloud Storage, lining itself up to take on competitors such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Google’s Cloud Storage enables world-wide storing and retrieval of any amount of data at any time. It’s highly scalable and lets app developers store their data on Google’s infrastructure.

Some of the main features of Google Cloud Storage include interoperability (it can be used with other cloud storage tools and libraries such as Amazon S3), access control, and resumable uploads, which lets users resume a data transfer after a communication breakdown has interrupted the flow of data.

If you want end users to be able to access the data, Google’s more consumer storage option, Google Drive, is a better option.

drive

Mobile Wi-Fi

Google is one year into an experiment to make the Internet accessible in remote areas in southern hemisphere with a network formed by balloons, under a project called as the ‘Project Loon‘.

Project Loon balloons will float in the stratosphere, twice as high as aircrafts. According to the company, the balloons will be powered by solar-energy, to float over the wind at high-altitudes about 12.5 miles (20km) and use algorithms to find out where the balloons need to go and then moved up or down to catch the winds blowing in the respective direction.

The balloons are claimed to offer internet services to the ground with speeds similar to the current 3G networks or faster.

With the project, the company expects to overcome the terrestrial challenges to Internet connectivity presented by the jungles, archipelagos, mountains and other geographical surfaces.

Users can connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building to catch the signal that bounces from balloon to balloon, then to the global Internet back on Earth, the company said.

Last month, Google successfully used a Loon to connect a remote Brazilian school to the Internet.

Google said in a blog: "This test flight marked a few significant ‘firsts’ for Project Loon as well. Launching near the equator taught us to overcome more dramatic temperature profiles, dripping humidity and scorpions. And we tested LTE technology for the first time; this could enable us to provide an Internet signal directly to mobile phones, opening up more options for bringing Internet access to more places."

loon

Analytics

The Google Analytics platform offers users the ability to measure their website interactions with their audience. Find out home many page hits you’re getting, where the traffic is coming from, and what sort of content is working the best.

Features include data import using the management API, the ability to conduct experiments to test a website or to see if you’re reaching a set goal, and a mobile app that enables the measurement of user acquisition, engagement, and outcomes all from your device.

analytics

Social Media

Google+, launched in 2011, is Google’s own attempt at a social networking site, which has now ended up encompassing much more than that. Google itself defines it as a ‘social layer’, which enhances many online tools provided by Google.

Google+ is actually the second biggest social network in the world, with a reported 540 million monthly active users, although most of those users come as part of the Identity service site because they have to interact with Google+ to use Gmail and post YouTube comments.

Google+ experienced massive growth when it was first launched, garnering 10 million users after two weeks in beta, and reaching 25 million users after a month.

g+

Search

The big one. First launched in 1997, Google is the most-used search engine in the world, and gets its revenue from advertising using AdWords.

Google handles three billion search requests a day, and changed the face of the Internet, leading to Google also becoming a verb.

It can not be accurately said how many webpages Google actually indexes, but it’s safe to say its reach extends for the majority of the known web.

Google’s AdWords is Google’s main source of revenue when it comes to search. These are paid-for ads that appear at the top of search results.

search

 

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