Broadcast: May 14, 2004
This is Bob Doughty with the VOA Special English Economics Report.
Google is a powerful tool for users of the electronic communications system called the Internet. Computer users connecting to the Internet can use Google to search for any word, name or idea. Google finds electronic documents, or web pages, with news, information -- almost anything. More than eighty-million people use the Google Web page each month.
Two young men, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, started Google in nineteen-ninety-eight. At the time, they were students at Stanford University in California. They created a search engine, a way to look for words on the Internet. The technology they developed chooses Web pages with the links closest to the word or words the user is searching for.
Google was not the first Internet search engine. But people found it easy to use. Today, Google performs two-hundred-million searches everyday. It can search more than four-thousand-million web pages at one time. Yet each search takes less than one second. Google has even become an action word: to "google" means to search for information on the Internet.
The search service that Google offers is free. But Google also provides links to Web pages of companies that sell goods and services. Companies pay Google every time someone uses it to connect with their web page. The amount a company pays depends on its size.
Google’s business has grown very quickly. The company made almost one-thousand-million dollars in two-thousand-three. Its profit was more than one-hundred-million dollars.
Late last month, Google announced that it wanted to become a public company. This means that Google will sell its ownership shares to the public. The company hopes to raise about two-thousand-seven-hundred-million dollars this way. But it has not said how many shares it would sell. It also has not set a price for the shares or the date when they will be sold.
Some business experts have criticized Google for not releasing enough information about the company before the sale. But there is no question that investors are interested in the company’s shares.
The people who may gain the most from the sale are Mister Brin and Mister Page. Each man owns fifteen-percent of the company. After the sale, they could both be worth several thousand million dollars.
This VOA Special English Economics Report was written by Mario Ritter. This is Bob Doughty.