Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG and LSE:GGEA) is an American public corporation, earning revenue from online and mobile advertising related to its Internet search, web-based e-mail, online mapping, office productivity, social networking, and video sharing as well as selling advertising-free versions of the same technologies. Google''s headquarters, the Googleplex, is located in Mountain View, California, and the company has 16,805 full-time employees (as of December 31, 2007).<3> It is the largest American company (by market capitalization) that is not part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (as of October 31, 2007).<4> <5>
Google was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University and the company was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 7, 1998. Google''s initial public offering took place on August 19, 2004, raising US$1.67 billion, making it worth US$23 billion. Google has continued its growth through a series of new product developments, acquisitions, and partnerships. Environmentalism, philanthropy, and positive employee relations have been important tenets during Google''s growth, the latter resulting in being identified multiple times as Fortune Magazine''s #1 Best Place to Work.<6> The company''s unofficial slogan is "Don''t be evil", however Google is not without controversy related to its business practices; there are concerns regarding the privacy of personal information, copyright, censorship, and discontinuation of services.