Frequently Asked Questions

What is Google's mission? How did Google begin?

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. The first step toward fulfilling that mission came when our founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, working out of a Stanford University dorm room, developed a new approach to online search that quickly spread to information seekers around the globe. Google is now widely recognized as the world's largest search engine.

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What does Google do?

Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information.

Google primarily generates revenue by delivering relevant, cost-effective online advertising. Businesses use our AdWords program to promote their products and services with targeted advertising. In addition, third-parties that comprise our Google network use our Google AdSense program to deliver relevant ads that generate revenue and enhance the user experience.

For more information, please see our Company Overview.

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Why are we so focused on our users?

We believe that the most effective, and ultimately the most profitable, way to accomplish our mission is to put the needs of our users first. We've found that a high-quality user experience leads to strong word-of-mouth promotion. Our dedication to our users is reflected in these three key company-wide commitments:

  • We will do our best to provide the most relevant and useful search results possible, independent of financial incentives. Our search results will be objective and we will not accept payment for their inclusion or ranking.
  • We will do our best to provide the most relevant and useful advertising. Ads should not be an annoying interruption. If any element on a search result page is influenced by payment to us, we will make this fact clear to our users.
  • We will never stop working to improve our user experience, our search technology, and other areas of information organization.

We believe that our user focus is the foundation of our success to date. We also believe that this focus is critical for the creation of long-term value. We do not intend to compromise our user focus for short-term economic gain.

We recommend that you read Letters from Our Founders for more about Google's philosophy.

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How does Google make money? What is driving Google's growth?

Today, the majority of our revenue comes from advertising.

Advertisers are increasingly turning to the Internet to market their products and services. Google AdWords, our auction-based advertising program, enables advertisers to deliver relevant ads targeted to search queries or web content to potential customers across Google sites and through the Google Network, which consists of content owners and websites. Our proprietary technology automatically matches ads to the content of the page on which they appear, and advertisers pay us either when a user clicks on one of its ads or based on the number of times their ads appear on the Google Network.

We distribute our advertisers' AdWords ads for display on the Google Network through our AdSense program. We share most of the revenue generated from ads shown on a site of a Google Network member with that member.

You can learn more about AdWords and AdSense here.

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Who are our customers?

Our customers are over one million of advertisers, from small businesses targeting local customers to many of the world's largest global enterprises, who use Google AdWords to reach millions of users around the world.

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Who are our partners?

Partnerships have been very important to Google's success throughout our history, and we take our partnerships very seriously.

Our AdSense network consists of partners ranging from website publishers to the most popular search destinations, to whom we provide advertisements and with whom we share a majority of the revenue we receive from those ads.

We also have relationships with partners who distribute our products and services to users all over the world. Other partners provide valuable content that allows us to bring even more content and information to our users.

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What are our products?

Here's a comprehensive list of all our products and services.

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Who are Google's competitors?

We provide this information in our Annual Report. Visit our SEC Filings Archive page to refer to our most recent annual report.

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Where is Google located?

Our headquarters is located in Mountain View, California, but we have offices all over the world, including offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, and the United Kingdom.

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How many employees does Google have?

Our employee headcount can be found on our Financial Tables page.

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When was Google's initial public offering and at what price?

Our IPO was on August 18, 2004 at a price of $85 per share.

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On what exchange does Google trade and what is its ticker symbol?

Shares of our Class A common stock are listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (Nasdaq Global Select Market) under the symbol GOOG. Our Class B common stock is not publicly traded.

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How many shares of Google are outstanding?

Our shares outstanding can be found on Google Finance.

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How can I invest in Google? Can I purchase Google stock directly from the company?

You can purchase Class A common stock of our company through a registered brokerage or stock purchase service provider of your choice. You cannot buy stock directly from Google.

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What is a transfer agent, who is yours, and how do I contact them?

A transfer agent is a regulated organization that keeps track of stockholder records and information. To find out more, please contact our transfer agent:

Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
P.O. Box 43078
Providence, RI 02940

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Does Google pay a cash dividend?

No, we have never declared or paid a cash dividend nor do we expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.

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When does Google report earnings? How can I listen to the webcast for the earnings report?

Visit our Webcasts & Events page.

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I missed the earnings webcast. Can I listen to the archived session?

Yes! You're welcome to listen to any of our archived webcasts.

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When does Google's fiscal year end?

Our fiscal year ends on December 31. Our quarters end on March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.

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When and where is the Google Annual Stockholders Meeting?

We generally hold our Annual Meeting of Stockholders in the month of May or June. Additional information can be found in our proxy statement for the relevant year.

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How can I attend the Annual Stockholders Meeting?

You can attend our Annual Stockholders Meeting ONLY if you are a Google stockholder. Additional information regarding attendance requirements is detailed in each year's annual proxy statement. For more information, visit our Annual Stockholders Meeting page.

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Where can I find all of Google's SEC filings?

You can access our filings through the SEC website. You can also directly order selected Google filings.

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How can I download and view the quarterly and annual reports online?

You are welcome to download and view both quarterly and annual reports directly from our site.

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Can I request to receive all SEC filings, annual reports, and/or proxy statements electronically rather than through the mail? Can I vote my proxy online?

Yes, we like saving trees. Please sign up here for electronic enrollment and to vote your proxy online.

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Who is Google's Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm?

Ernst & Young LLP

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How do I contact Investor Relations?

If you can't find the information you're looking for on our website, please feel free to contact us here.

Or write to us here:

Google Inc.
Attn: Investor Relations
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

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