Google search is a Web search engine owned by Google, Inc., and it is the most used search engine on the Web. Google receives several hundred million queries each day through its various services. Google search was originally developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1997.
The domain google.com attracted at least 135 million U.S. visitors in May 2008.
Google not only indexes and caches web pages but also takes "snapshots" of other file types, which include PDF, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Flash SWF, plain text files and much more. Except in the case of text and SWF files, the cached version is a conversion to (X)HTML, allowing those without the corresponding viewer application to read the file.
Users can customize the search engine, by setting a default language, using the "SafeSearch" filtering technology and set the number of results shown on each page. Google has been criticized for placing long-term [cookie|cookies] on users' machines to store these preferences, a tactic which also enables them to track a user's search terms and retain the data for more than a year. For any query, up to the first 1000 results can be shown with a maximum of 100 displayed per page.
Despite its immense index, there is also a considerable amount of data in databases, which are accessible from websites by means of queries but not by links. This so-called deep web is minimally covered by Google and contains, for example, catalogs of libraries, official legislative documents of governments, phone books, and more.
As Google's algorithms and results have gained the trust of web users, commercial websites will profit from subverting these results by artificially inflating their rankings. Some search engine optimization firms have attempted to inflate specific Google rankings by various artifices, and thereby draw more searchers to their client's sites. One of Google's main challenges has been to weaken some of these attempts by reducing the ranking of sites known to use them.
Search engine optimization encompasses both "on page" factors (like body copy, title elements, H1 heading elements and image alt attribute values) and Off Page Optimization factors (like anchor text and PageRank). The general idea is to affect Google's relevance algorithm by incorporating the keywords being targeted in various places "on page", in particular the title element and the body copy (note: the higher up in the page, presumably the better its keyword prominence and thus the ranking). Too many occurrences of the keyword, however, cause the page to look suspect to Google's spam checking algorithms.
The Google webmaster guidelines were published for website owners who would like to raise their rankings when using legitimate optimization consultants.
The Google search engine has many intuitive features making it more functional. This could have played a role in making it as popular as it is today. Google is one of the top ten most-visited websites today. Some of its features include a definition link for most searches including dictionary words, a list of how many results you got on your search, links to other searches (e.g. you misspelled something, it gives you a link to the search results had you typed in the correct search), and many more. It is unknown whether functionality, speed, or luck brought it its peak status.
Google's Advanced Search web form gives several additional fields which may be used to qualify searches by such criteria as date of first retrieval. All advanced queries transform to regular queries, usually with additional qualified terms.
According to a study by Tom Chavez of "Rapt", this feature costs Google $110 million a year as 1% of all searches use this feature and bypass all advertising.
"We're sorry...followed by a CAPTCHA prompt.... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google."
The screen was first reported in 2005, and was a response to the heavy use of Google by search engine optimization companies to check on ranks of sites they were optimizing. The message may also be triggered by high volumes of different searches from a single IP address. The block is removed after a day.
The interface has also been made available in some languages for humorous purpose:
In addition to its tool for searching webpages, Google also provides services for searching images, Usenet newsgroups, news websites, videos, searching by locality, maps, and items for sale online. In 2006, Google has indexed over 25 billion web pages, 400 million queries per day, 1.3 billion images, and over one billion Usenet messages. It also caches much of the content that it indexes. Google operates other tools and services including Google News, Google Suggest, Google Product Search, Google Maps, Google Co-op and Google Desktop Search.
There are also products available from Google that are not directly search-related. Gmail, for example, is a webmail application, but still includes search features; Google Browser Sync does not offer any search facilities, although it aims to organize your browsing time.
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