Google series: what the heck is Google?

Google logo“Google” is the brand name for a leading internet search engine.

Whoa! Back up! What the heck is a search engine?

A search engine is a computer program that searches through the entire internet for specified keywords and returns with a list of websites where the keywords
are found.

You type in a word, group of words, phrase or even a question and the search engine will search for websites with this and related content and list the sites for you in order of relevance.

Google launched in 1998. It was not the first search engine, nor is it the last. It is, however, the most widely used to date with over 1 billion users. The two runners up are Yahoo Search and Bing (Bing is a re-brand of MSN Live) but they don’t even crack 500 million users.

Google has become the “Kleenex” of search engines. “Kleenex” is not a thing, it is a brand name for a tissue. But, because Kleenex is so well known, we call any brand of tissue a “Kleenex”. Google is the same. No one “searches” on line anymore, we all “Google”.

In fact, “Google” is now listed in dictionary.com as a noun AND a verb:

Google [goo-guh l]

noun, Trademark.
1. brand name of a leading Internet search engine, founded in 1998.

verb (used with object), Googled, Googling
2. (often lowercase) to search the internet for information about (a person, topic, etc.): We googled the new applicant to check her background.

verb (used without object), Googled, Googling.
3. (often lowercase) to use a search engine such as Google to find information, a website address, etc., on the internet.

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