Google is known for its web search engine, today’s most frequently-used search tool. Google has become so pervasive in the modern vocabulary that it is also used as a verb. To google something means to look it up on Google.

Stanford computer science PhD dropouts Larry Page and Sergey Brin first released Google in 1997. The search function is mainly used to find information in text form. However, Google does have search tools for other media, such as Google Image Search, as well as a location search function, known as Google Maps.

Making use of Google’s search engine is quite simple. Simple text may be entered, and, in case of misspelling, an alternative spelling may be suggested. Advanced Search may be used as well. This includes the addition of several fields which help make the query more specific.

Google makes use of a system known as PageRank. This lists web pages according to a ranking based on links to other web pages. This system works under the assumption that sites which are linked to other important pages are probably important, as well. This analysis, taken together with other indicators, gives a website a score which determines how it will be listed when a related search is made. Most of these other indicators are classified, however, to prevent the interference of spammers in the ranking of sites.

Many companies direct much of their online advertising and marketing efforts to Google optimization, which is otherwise known as search engine optimization. This is a process by which webmasters can bring their rankings up and make their websites more visible in the listings.

Google’s popularity as a search engine has been recognized to the extent that the name has become a verb. Today, googling a topic is synonymous with searching for information on it on the Internet. This is perhaps one of the best indicators of Google’s success as a search engine provider.