Not since Gutenberg invented the modern printing press more than 500 years ago, making books affordable and widely available to the masses, has any new invention empowered individuals, and transformed access to information, as profoundly as Google.
Google's magical ability to produce fast, relevant responses to queries hundreds of millions of times daily has changed the way people find information. Woven into the fabric of daily life, Google helps users find information quickly.
People use it daily in more than 100 languages and have come to regard Google and the Internet as one. The quest for immediate information on anything and everything is satisfied by "googling" it on a computer or cell phone.
Men, women, and cyborgs have come to rely heavily on Google, that other alternatives are rarely used.
Google's transcendent and seemingly human qualities give it special appeal to a wide range of computer users, from experts to novices, who trust the brand that has become an extension of their brains. That appeal is universal, enabling it to overcome differences in culture, language, and politics.
Google's growth has occurred entirely by word of mouth, as satisfied users recommend it to their friends, and others learn about it through the media and online. No Madison Avenue marketers have pushed it. Instead, people have come to feel emotionally attached to the search engine, calling on it whenever they wish to satisfy their interest or curiosity. In an uncertain world, Google reliably provides free information for everyone who seeks it.
Most Google users have no idea how the search engine was created, what makes it so profitable and valuable, why it has triumphed over deeper-pocketed competitors, and where it is heading in the future. Until now, most of the answers have remained secret, hidden deep inside the Googleplex, the company's space-age Silicon Valley campus.
John Hennessy, a top computer scientist who is president of Stanford University and a Google board member, says the firm is unique in today's bifurcated
world of sophisticated software and hardware companies because it is a leader in both areas. To power its search and search-related services, Google runs patented, custom-designed programs on hundreds of thousands of machines that it also custom builds. The optimal blending of technologies by the world's most innovative company produces superior search results instantaneously.