Google’s founding story is pretty much the archetype of Silicon Valley success.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both Stanford University engineers, developed a new technology to rank Internet search results, incubating and ultimately launching a new company in the garage of a friend.
Today, Google is the flagship company for its newly named holding company Alphabet, now the fourth largest tech company and the 24th largest company in the world. In fact, Alphabet is in 14 ETFs offered by Stash, including Young Money, American Innovators, Blue Chips, and Social Media Mania.
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Google and its affiliated products and services drove Alphabet’s revenue of nearly $90 billion in 2016. With a market cap of $650 billion, Alphabet is a favorite stock for both individual and institutional investors.
While Alphabet owns over 70 businesses, Google’s products and services are its most valuable. Here’s a look at Google’s core businesses.
(Note: Unless otherwise noted, all data comes from Alphabet Inc.’s 2016 Annual Report to Shareholders).
Roughly 80% of Google’s $79.3 billion in advertising revenue in 2016 was generated by Google Search and Google AdWords. The latter is its proprietary advertising product, which displays relevant pages from companies that pay for search ads. Some highly competitive keywords reportedly command rates as high as $58 per click. Customers complete roughly 100 billion Google searches per month.
While Google generates AdWords revenue from its own websites, AdSense derives revenue from non-Google websites that pay to display Google ads on their own sites. These are known as Google Member Network properties, and they generated $15.6 billion in revenue for the company in 2016.
Google Wallet is the company’s effort to corner a piece off a mobile payments market, valued at $721 billion for 2017. While the service is free to consumers, Google earns advertising revenue from its wallet, which it also mines for consumer data.
With more than 1 billion users, Google Maps is reportedly the preferred map app for nearly 70% of iPhone users, and nearly 80% of Android phone users. While the app is free to use, it generates advertising revenue through a sidebar search listing for local businesses, and by allowing businesses–such as banks, restaurants, and hotels–to place their corporate logos directly on maps.
Google acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.6 billion. It is the second largest search engine, and after Google and Facebook, the third most visited website in the world. YouTube’s users upload more than 300 hours of video every minute, and they reportedly watch about 3 billion hours of video content the platform every month.
Google Drive, the popular cloud storage option, has roughly 800 million registered users and hosts over 2 trillion documents. Google estimates the number of Drive users will reach 1 billion by the end of 2017.
Google quietly acquired Android for a $50 million in 2005. At the time, Android was a struggling platform, but Larry Page saw potential in the operating system. Today, Android commands over 85% of the global smartphone market, crushing the rival iPhone, which has an 11% market share.
Google launched its free browser in 2008, and since then there have been have been more than 2 billion installs. Worldwide, Chrome controls more than 52% of all internet browser usage, and 50% of all mobile browser usage.
Launched in 2012, Google Play is the official app store for the Android OS, bringing together all the Google and Android apps, music, games, movies, and books under one umbrella. There are currently 1.5 million apps in the Google Play store, and 40 million songs.