Google is a worldwide search and advertising website wholly owned by the conglomerate Alphabet since its corporate restructuring in 2015. Although the site's main focus is Internet services and software, Google also pursues cloud computing, hardware, and future technologies. Google is the largest U.S. based web company and Alphabet's largest subsidiary. Google has faced criticism for their data mining and targeted advertising practices, which were catalysts for an increased amount of debate surrounding the ethical implications of privacy online.
- 1 History
- 2 Mantra
- 3 Acquisitions
- 4 Data Centers
- 5 Google Products
- 6 Ethical Implications
- 7 See Also
- 8 External Links
- 9 References
Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Page graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering in 1994. Brin, originally born in Russia, graduated from the University of Maryland, with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics. Both Page and Brin later attended Stanford University to complete their Master of Science degrees in Human Computer Interaction.
Google began as a research project at Stanford, but Page and Brin quickly began working on it full-time.. Google was founded on September 4th, 1998 in Menlo Park, California and has since moved its headquarters to Mountain View, California 
Page and Brinn's original intention was to create a product to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". This feat was accomplished as a result of the PageRank algorithm, which sorted search results based on how many connections they have with other pages. This algorithm was based on the assumption that the more times a page is linked from another site, the more credible it is. This assumption proved to be accurate, and since then, the company has rapidly expanded by producing new suites of products and acquiring new companies in many different markets. These products include the Android operating system, the Chrome browser, and Google+, among others.
Google's initial public offering occurred on August 19, 2004. The IPO sold over 18,605,052 shares for $85 each — one of the largest IPOs at the time.
By 2018, Google's share price had risen to $1,009.95 and had greatly exceeded this initial market capitalization. Today, the firm is valued at over $700 billion with revenues exceeding $100 billion. 
Google's mantra, Don't be evil, was established by Google employees Paul Buchheit and Amit Patel. Google claims that at the core of their company, "Don't be evil" encapsulates their values. Google has faced criticism from the public for actions viewed as inconsistent with their mantra. In 2006, Google struck a deal with China to censor Google's search results, and Steve Jobs publicly stated that he felt Google was not staying true to their mantra. After Alphabet bought Google in 2015, they replaced this mantra with "Do the right thing" in the company's Code of Conduct, though they have stated that "Don't be evil" remains Google's official mantra. 9
Since 2001, Google has acquired a significant number of technology companies, ranging from Keyhole, Inc, Android, YouTube, DoubleClick, and GrandCentral. Many of these acquisitions eventually became key aspects of Google's platform, including Google Groups, GoogleEarth, and Google Sites.  Google has also partnered with companies like NASA's Ames Research Center, Sun Microsystems, AOL, Time Warner, Microsoft, Nokia, and Ericsson to collaborate on product launches.
Alphabet Inc. Restructure
On August 10, 2015 Google founder and CEO Larry Page published a press release that announced the formation of Alphabet Inc. and the restructuring of Google and its subsidiary companies. In the release, Page stated the motivation for the shakeup was to keep Google clean and accountable while making it easier for the company to work on new, ambitious projects. Alphabet allows each separate business or project to have more independence and freedom to grow since each initiative is treated as its own company. As part of the restructure, Larry Page became Alphabet’s first CEO and fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin became the company's first President. Senior Google member Eric Schmidt becomes Alphabet Inc.’s Executive Chairman. Page and Brin promoted Google Senior Vice President and Product Chief, Sundar Pichai, to the role of Google CEO. As of October 2, 2015, Alphabet Inc. replaced Google as the NASDAQ publicly traded entity of the company, at which point the company’s ticker symbol switched from “GOOGL” to just “GOOG”.
During the restructure, Alphabet Inc. became the parent company for many of Google’s prominent ventures. Alphabet Inc. now oversees Nest, Calico, Fiber, Google Ventures and Capital, Verily, and X (formerly known Google X). Google remains the parent company of other projects and corporations such as Android, Search, YouTube, Ads, and Maps. Google’s shakeup and the formation of Alphabet Inc. was heralded by investors as a wise management move for the company.
Google's approach to data centers is a major factor behind the company's growth. As of 2012, Google owns and operates seven data centers in the United States, three in Asia, and three in Europe. It has also recently began to offer inside looks into their data centers, capitalizing on the Google Street View technology.. However, in the past Google was well known for keeping information about even the number and locations of its data centers secret.  Although it is difficult to form a complete picture, a rough outline of the history Google's data centers can be assembled indicating that Google has used a number of innovations and unconventional methods to build their data centers.
Data Center Structure
Google applied for a patent on using interchangeable modules in the form of standard shipping containers to build data centers in December of 2003. However, the general idea may have come from an individual working at the Internet Archive project.  Using enclosed components in this method allows Google to move large volumes of data quicker and more reliably than any other method in existence.  It also enables Google to quickly deploy customizable computing on a large scale, allowing it to build new services in new locations quickly. 
In 2005, a Google employee published a paper warning that if the power usage and heat output of data centers was not reduced, the costs of cooling would render data centers prohibitively expensive. . The same paper predicted that using more individual processing cores in parallel but at a slower speed would be more efficient than trying to eke out more performance from a single chip. It is likely that this line of thinking if not his direct recommendations were the reason that Google began to custom-design its own server hardware in 2005 . These custom servers included a number of features that increase efficiency as means to decrease the costs of each search query because Google's revenue per search query is very low. The differences included built-in batteries to circumvent the cost of monolithic battery backup systems as well as a unique power supply voltage of 12V to exploit both the differing costs of power supply hardware and the fact that copper wire transmits electricity more efficiently at 12V than the standard 5V. .
Google began designing custom networking equipment in their data centers in 2005.  Although the transition was partly motivated by the limitations of commercially available hardware, it was also motivated by the fact that Google could further decrease operational costs by ordering production runs of custom hardware from the same factories that equipment vendors use to outsource manufacturing.  A shipment of "Pluto" brand network switches determined to belong to Google was mistakenly delivered to the wrong destination in February of 2012  The recipients posted pictures of the hardware and some of the console output that resulted from attempting to interact with it to a thread on networking-forum.com.  They confirmed that Google is still using custom hardware and that since users could not identify some of the plugs on the hardware, Google is using esoteric or possibly proprietary cable standards on the hardware.
Google has also attempted to decrease costs and increase revenue through unconventional methods of heat management. A past employee claimed in 2008 that Google uses CPUs that are rated to withstand higher temperatures than normal.  This appears possible given that an employee later stated that in some cases, Google simply allows the hardware to run at higher temperatures and suspending any work that demands physical presence in any areas with unsafe temperatures instead of keeping a constant low temperature.  Google will also sometimes take advantage of existing cooling infrastructure by buying industrial properties that include it and transforming them into new data centers. 
Advertising is the number one revenue source for Google; 99% of their total revenue comes from advertising. Google helped to engineer a new type of competitive advertising that ensures the highest bidder pays only 1 cent above the second place bidder. Additionally, the company helped popularize the Pay Per Click (ppm) model now used by the majority of online advertisers.
Adwords is a Google campaign that allows advertisers to rent out space and pay on a cost per click (CPC) basis. Before Adwords, sites were allowed to choose their own "keywords" - the words used by Google to determine the appropriate search results. But Larry Page, in developing his famous "Page Rank" system, decided that advertisers should have to do less work and developed an algorithm that mitigated users gaming the system.
Google has business ventures in a variety of different web, software, and hardware products. Most of which are free to use and make Google little to no money. The majority of Google’s $109.65 Billion in 2017 revenue came from its search advertising in Google products which amount to $67.39 Billion. Advertising through AdWords, Google’s proprietary Ad engine which any site owner can use to sell Ads on their site, amounted for $17.54 Billion. The remaining revenue comes from a variety of sources ranging from corporate licensing of software, the Android store, Android smartphones, etc. 
Google has an extensive list of products.
- Web Search Google is the most-used search engine on the web. Google uses a "PageRank" algorithm, named after Google founder Larry Page, to rank pages that show up in Google's results. The PageRank's main function is to search for text, on webpages in order to determine the relevancy to a user's search. Users also have the ability to filter their search result by category, including images, news, and books. Google's web search was the initial function of the website. Other features were added later, as the company expanded. Google web search also includes more specified databases that a user can use to more easily extract and find the information of the particular category they are looking for. Two specific examples of these types of searchable databases include Google Scholar and Google Trends which can be used to find academic journal articles backed with scholarly research or trends discovered under experimental condition respectively.
- Google Chrome is Google's web browser. It has built-in malware and phishing protection, and auto-updates to ensure the latest security fixes. Google Chrome also has Google search embedded in the navigation bar, making searching fast and easy.
- I'm Feeling Lucky Feature - In addition to the standard Web search features, Google offers users the opportunity to click an "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, where it essentially predicts what a user is aiming to seek information about. Recently, Google has added other features that operate in the same way as the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, only utilizing other emotions. For example, Google has added similar buttons such as "I'm Feeling Wonderful, Artistic, Playful, Hungry, etc.." which can be found and used by scrolling over the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on the main search screen. The "I'm Feeling Hungry" feature will bring up a list of local restaurants with one click of the button. This, "I'm Feeling ________" feature is fun for users as long as aesthetically appealing. 
- Google Scholar is a variant of the primary Google Search Engine launched in 2004 that focuses specifically searching for reputable scholarly articles that reference the desired terms or content matter. Search results are initially sorted into either articles or law case studies based on user preference but are further able to be sorted by the desired date of publishing. This search engine is particularly useful for users who are seeking officially published academic or research papers for the sake of further research or reference, and is widely accepted by universities as a reliable source for finding other reliable sources.
- Android Google's mobile platform, Android is the world's most popular mobile platform. In the worldwide OS market, Android leads the competition with 37.93% of the share, compared to Windows' 37%.  Android allows users to utilize Google Apps, in addition to the 600,000 apps available on Google Play. The Android operating system can be found on wearable devices, smartphones, tablet computers, and Android Auto.
Chromebooks are a new type of computer designed to help users get things done faster and easier. They are a smaller laptop designed for on the go users. They run Chrome OS, an operating system that has multiple layers of security, cloud storage, and the most popular Google products built-in such as Google maps and Google Analytics. The Chromebook had originally been bashed by critics because of its inability to compete with laptops running operating systems such as windows. After its decline in price the Chromebook began to become very popular. Recently, Google has even offered the Chromebook to schools for a price as low as $99. The intent is to provide this budget laptop to base users. With the increasing popularity of the Chromebook and its sibling the Pixelbook, there are rumors circulating that a new laptop sporting a 4k resolution is on the way.
- Google Books allows users to search for books, and in some cases, see a preview or view the entire book. If a book is in the public domain, users are also able to download a PDF copy.
- Google Play originally called Google Music, Google Play allows users to upload their music and other documents so that they can be accessed on other devices. Google Play syncs automatically, and can also be set to enable offline use.
- Google Images is Google's specific search engine for photos.
- Google News is similar to Google images, Google News filter search results to only display news articles.
- Picasa has been integrated into Google+, allowing users to easily share their images with their Circles on the social networking site.
- Picnik After being acquired by Google in 2010, Picnik worked to create photo editing software for Google+. Though the site no longer exists, many of Picnik's features can be found in the Creative Kit in Google+.
- Videos Google Videos is Google's search engine for video content.
- Earth was originally created by Keyhole, Inc., a company funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. On October 27, 2004, Google acquired Keyhole, Inc. thus gaining the technology to begin the Google Earth platform.  Google Earth is a virtual globe incorporating many of Google's other platforms, including Google Street View to allow users access to view many parts of the world. In recent years, much of the focus has been in incorporating three-dimensional views into Google Earth's capabilities. Users can submit their own 3D structures by modeling them on SketchUp.
- Sky, an expansion of Earth, is an online sky viewer, collaborating images from multiple astronomical observatories.
- Google Street View allows users to explore streets around the world in a 360-degree panoramic view. In Google Earth and Google Maps, the street view comes after the map has been zoomed in as far as possible.
- Maps is a mapping system that allows map viewing and route planning, by car, foot, or public transportation.
- Google Street View allows users to explore streets around the world in a 360-degree panoramic view. In Google Earth and Google Maps, the street view comes after the map has been zoomed in as far as possible.
- Latitude is a mobile app allowing users to record their locations on Google Maps. Latitude was created from the software acquired from Dodgeball in 2005. The creators of Dodgeball eventually left Google to pursue the creation of Latitude competitor Foursquare. 
- Panoramio combines both photo sharing and location by allowing users to post pictures of given areas. This allows others to see user-generated images from sites.
- SketchUp is a program allowing for 3D models to be created and shared among users. SketchUp is the basis for user-generated 3D content within Google Earth.
Home & Office
- Calendar is a web-based system allowing Google account holders to manage time virtually. Advantages include being able to access the calendar from anywhere with internet access. Google calendar allows users to make different calendars for various parts of one's life. In addition, Google Calendar makes it simple to plan group meetings with its "Find a Time" feauture that syncs multiple calendars to find a free time for everyone.
- Drive allows users to access and edit files from anywhere by storing files on an external server rather than on one's computer drive. It is an expansion of the original Google Docs platform. Drive allows for collaborative editing on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in addition to other features, such as creating forms.
- Gmail is Google's e-mail platform. It offers Google searching abilities within mail, sorting capabilities, and the ability to link other Google applications to e-mail. As of June 2012, it is the most used e-mail platform in the world. 
- Google Wallet was launched in September of 2011. It allows users to store their credit/debit cards and store the information to pay online and in person, using one's mobile device.
- Google Offers is a comprehensive search engine for online offers in discounted services and products. Google Offers is able to search through local, national, and internet retailers.
- Sites is a component of Google that allows a user to create his or her own websites. Google Sites has an extensive list of "How to" pages to give any user the proper instruction to add content, create feeds, create advanced designs and coding, and limit who has access to the website.
- Talk is a downloadable application that allows users to text chat other users in real time and make free PC-to-PC voice calls with other Google users in the U.S.
- Translate gives users the ability to translate words and phrases into over 50 different languages.
- Voice is a phone managing service that lets users create a "Google number" that can be linked and managed from their Google mail account. This Google number can be chosen by the user and can also be used to link several devices together. For example, one number can ring a home, work, and cell phone.
- In addition, Google voice is directly integrated into one's e-mail enabling users to check their e-mail, call other phones, and text through their e-mail, all free of charge. Google voice can also manage voice mails, and maintain contact lists for specific phones. A new feature of Google Voice called "ListenIn" also lets users listen to an incoming caller's voice mail without having to answer the phone.
- Google Cloud Print is a new service by Google that allow users to print documents from any printer that has a internet connection. Google Cloud Print can manage multiple printers and also lets users create a list of other users who are allowed to have access to those printers.
- Blogger is a Google component that allows users to create and manage blogs through their Google account. Blogger also lets users subscribe to other bloggers within Google Blogger so they can follow posts.
- Google+ is a web community service that was created with a model very similar to Facebook. In addition to many of the same features of Facebook, users have the ability to group friends into various categories and give them unique access to their profile. Users can also create "Hangouts." "Hangouts" lets users create an event that can occur online or offline to communicate with other users through text, webcams, or in person.
- Groups is a Google component that host forums that users can read, post, and reply to. Users can select specific categories or specific regions to find forums on specific topics.
- Knol was a website for creating and managing written semi-professional documents through Google. The project was started in 2007, but was phased out as of April 2012 and replaced by another site called "Annotum."
- Orkut Is a social networking site that is very similar to Myspace and Facebook. Orkut was created in 2004 and currently is very popular in Brazil and India. Orkut does not have a real presence in the U.S. due to sites such as Facebook and Myspace.
- Reader is a site that allows users to subscribe to and read news feeds. Google Reader also gives users to search for and subscribe to specific subjects, websites, companies, celebrities, sports teams, etc. Google Reader is no longer offered by Google, as it was discontinued in 2013 because of usage declines. This decision was controversial but it was a commitment that Google has stuck with.
- Google Drive is a file creating, sharing, and managing system that is completely hosted through Google. The applications below are the main components of Google Drive. All of them are free to download and use.
- Fusion Tables - used for created and combining multiple tables of data
- Drawings - used to modify and enhance documents with graphs, charts, pictures, etc.
- Forms - used to create and distribute online surveys
- App Scripts - used to create and collaborate code with other Google users through Google's servers to enhance or create applications.
- PageRank is an algorithm created by Google that ranks pages on the internet that appear in Google's search engine by the number of links that are connected to the site. A number of sites have created applications that will check a page's rank for you automatically.
- Self-driving Cars is a project that Google has been actively researching since 2005. The Google driverless car is supposed to completely navigate itself safely on the road with little to no control from the user. As of 2011, Google driverless cars have become legal to operate in Nevada and California. This link will give a better idea of what the capabilities of the Google driverless car could be:A look inside Google's "Driverless Car" The car has yet to get into an accident at Google's expense, and has driven thousands of miles with minimal interruptions. There is a growing concern for the artificial intelligence software that Google is using for the project, leaving many to worry whose fault an accident would be, the designer or the car itself.
- Google Glass or better known as "Project Glass," is a new Google innovation on augmented reality. The Google Glasses are minicomputers in the form of a pair of glasses that will give a user the ability to search, manage, and create data through the glasses seamlessly. Google Glass will be built around the existing Google Now and is currently in beta testing.
- Google Labs existed from 2006 to 2011. It allowed developers to beta test new features on certain users, who could optionally choose to try the capabilities.
- Google Clips is a smart camera that automatically captures short, seven second motion photographs through a machine learning algorithm called Moment IQ. This product is Google's attempt at entering the artificial intelligence market.
Introduced in 2010, it is the first fully integrated web and TV platform that is expected to have a major impact in the internet TV market. Google TV is based on the Android operating system, the Chrome web browser and an Intel chipset. Google TV lets users surf the internet, download, and run Android apps full-screen or in a picture-in-picture window while watching TV. Viewers can even use their Android phones as remote controls. The service is available in two forms: Box buddy and integrated TV. Box buddy is a small box that sits between your existing cable (or satellite) receiver and the TV, that can connect to the internet through Wi-Fi. It also comes with a remote to control your cable box, TV, and stereo. The integrated TV setup is built right into specific TV models, such as many Vizio and Sony brand TVs.
Google TV's launch was immensely hyped, however issues have arisen after Google failed to secure content deals with major media distributors before releasing the Google TV. Other issues included the hardware not being fully ready for release and the operating system inside the Google TV being almost at a beta level in it's completeness. However, a second generation of Google TV products has shown more promise, as problems that plagued the previous generation have since been fixed. 
- Blog Search - used to find blogs on particular topics
- Patent Search - used to find text of all U.S. patents
- Finance - useful for finding business information, news, current event charts
- Alerts - used to get email updates on the topics of a user's choice
- Custom Search - used to create a customized search experience for a certain community
- Google Shopping - used to commercial uses to find products to buy
- Scholar - used for academic research purposes to find scholarly articles
- Trends - used for exploring past and present search trends
The use of search engines has generated a cluster of ethical concerns as the service gains prominence on the web.
Occupying approximately 65.5% of the search engine market, Google is the most widely-used search engine. Billions of users provide Google with data about their personal preferences by using the company's search engine. Google claims it uses this information to show its users more relevant advertisements and cater to their personal preferences. However, this information can also be used to create a detailed profile of a user. This profile can provide insights to the user's likes, dislikes, political inclinations, fashion preferences, sexual orientation, etc. In order to counteract what would be considered privacy intrusions, Google has an Incognito mode that can be used on their web browser, Google Chrome, which allows the user to become anonymous to the company, avoiding the collection of the user's search and browsing data. Without this mode, users also have the chance to opt out of the data collection.   Google changes its algorithm around twice a week, and since it has not been patented, Google is not legally obliged to publish their algorithm for searches. The algorithm does have the ability to put certain websites before others, which has raised concern amongst pages shown. According to a study,  most users don't go past the fifth search. Google firmly states that they are not paid to put certain results at the top because they believe that paid inclusion is evil, but they do receive payments through advertisements. These advertisements are designed to look like a search result, but they have a small tag that says "Ad", which differentiates them.
Google's search engine customizes each search based off the user that is searching. Google Personalized Search is a personalized search feature of Google Search, introduced in 2004. All searches on Google Search are associated with a browser cookie record. Then, when a user performs a search, the search results are not only based on the relevance of each web page to the search term, but also on which websites the user (or someone else using the same browser) visited through previous search results. This provides a more personalized experience that can increase the relevance of the search results for the particular user. Such filtering may also has some side effects, such as or creating a filter bubble.
Changes in Googles search algorithm in later years put less importance on user data, which means the impact of personalized search is limited on search results. Acting on criticism, Google has also made it possible to turn off the feature.
Students use Google Translate to cheat on foreign language assignments. Teachers and professors can detect when such translators are over-used, as they often translate phrases directly, losing their connotative meaning in the process. Google Translate has not implemented any mechanisms to prevent such cheating and thus certain instances of cheating have occurred with this program. As Google Translate improves on translating connotative meaning, detecting the use of the software becomes more difficult.
Google Street View
Main Article: Google Street View Privacy advocates argue that individuals should not appear in Google Street View without first giving Google consent to use their images. They are also concerned that other personal information such as vehicle license plate numbers or information concerning their children and pets could be revealed by Google Street View. As of 2010 and 2011, countries including India, Australia, and Germany have temporarily shut down Google Street View and blocked new images from being uploaded. Users can report or flag images that they deem inappropriate. 
Google+ raises similar ethical concerns to other social media sites, like Facebook. Privacy, ownership, and censorship are three of the most prominent issues.
As of July 31, 2011, it has been mandatory for all profiles to be public on Google+. While users can choose what specific information they wish to be made public, Google+ is mandating that a person's gender is publicly displayed on their profile (unlike Facebook, which does not require genders to be posted publicly on a person's profile page).  Comments made on public Google+ posts are also public, regardless of the privacy settings of the person who posts the comment. People who you have explicitly shared posts with can also repost your content without your permission to their own audiences. 
Google released a virtual personal assistant called Google Now, modeled after Apple's Siri with the latest update to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) for their Android phones. Google Now makes use of natural language processing to help respond to user questions. This technology is integrated with other Google/Android products to provide accurate responses. It simplifies many of the phone's functions to a simple voice command. There are concerns about GPS data being logged by default; this data has the potential to calculate how far users have traveled and to understand places and establishments that users travel every month.  Google Now can also use GPS data to track local businesses nearby, based on users' previous searches. Google collects this data in order to improve the performance of their products. Ethical concern is found in whether this improvement of their instant service warrants the violation of user privacy; default privacy settings for Google Now are not explicitly communicated to users.
Google, specifically Google Books and YouTube have been accused of breaching copyright law on numerous occasions. Particularly with YouTube, issues arise as content from created which is created by users. Google does not have internal moderating systems to search for copyrighted material. Instead, they rely on other users ability to report this content. The Stop Online Piracy Act. proposed a solution to the problem, but this solution would essentially deconstruct the fundamental principles behind content creation and upload on YouTube. YouTube does not prevent users from uploading copyright videos. However, the site will take down videos if complaints are filed from the copyright holder. If need be, YouTube has expressed the ability to ban users if they repeat the same copyright infringements.
Google is capable of retrieving all user information found on multiple sites on the internet. All public information is capable of being displayed through Google's search engine once a person's name is inputted into the search field. All websites in which the users name is mentioned will be displayed, as well as images, videos, and news articles that may mention the user. Google offers ways in which people can remove searches that mention their name, however, they must submit inquiries for each piece of information.  At times, it is not possible to remove the search if it is part of a larger network or through a specific website. This raises many ethical concerns for people who do not want public information about themselves to be generated easily.
Nymwars refers to the ongoing dispute regarding requiring internet service users to reveal their real names when using particular services. When Google+ launched in summer 2011, Google mandated users provide their real names; however, when users provided nicknames instead, Google expelled them from the site. This ignited a conflict within the blogging community concerning the perceived right to anonymity in online spaces. Google chairman Eric Schmidt responded to angry bloggers, explaining that Google+ is intended to be an identity service, and therefore, the usage of real names is imperative for it's intended function. Recently, Google has also encouraged YouTube users to supply their real name.
On March 22, 2010 Google China shut down due to disputes regarding censorship. It re-routed all mainland attempts from China to Hong-Kong's uncensored version of the site. This move by Google represented moral objections to repeated attacks from Chinese hackers on Google accounts. However, Google has maintained many of its Chinese operations and has not pulled out of the country completely. Its redirection of users was a step towards stopping internet censorship, though the Chinese government has clearly stated that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement.
- Initial Censorship of Search Results: In 2006, Google made the decision to censor search results for the Chinese version of their search service, located at Google China. Multiple groups spoke out about the company's decision, but Google responded to the negative feedback by stating that they felt they could make a more positive contribution in China by maintaining operations. They also stated that providing some results rather than none fit better with their company's mission.
- Cyberattack and Removal of Censorship: Google was a target of a cyberattack on January 12, 2010. The company reported that it was one of many targets, across multiple industries and that the attack had originated in China. Human rights activists interested in the well-being of those in China seemed to be the primary targets, according to Google. These attacks resulted in theft of intellectual property. Shortly after the event, Google threatened to leave China if the cyberattacks and intrusions did not stop. In March of 2010, Google announced that they were going to redirect all Google.cn traffic to Google.hk, the domain for Google in Hong Kong. Doing so essentially removed all censorship that Chinese users were affected by prior to this change. This seems to have been in response to continued cyberattacks after Google's warning.
PageRank and search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is used to increase a website’s position and visibility on search engines. A page’s importance is measured by Google’s PageRank algorithm. Black-hat SEO, also known as spamdexing, is “the practice of using deceptive tactics in an effort to manipulate search engine results.” It is prohibited by Google’s Search Engine Optimization guidelines and can result in various penalties, such as the complete removal of the site from Google's index.
There is a technique called “Google bombing” that manipulates the PageRank algorithm to produce irrelevant search results, often exhibiting the hijacker’s personal opinion or vendetta. Whereas SEO (including spamdexing) involves increasing the rank of one’s own site, Google bombing often targets other pages in order to create a phrase/topic association. In 2003, political blogger George Johnston was involved in a Google bomb that led to the search query “miserable failure” returning the biography of President George W. Bush as the first result.In early 2011, an effort organized by an undetermined anti-abortion group made the Wikipedia article for abortion display as the second result when “murder” was googled.