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Google is a public American corporation (google.com), based in Mountain View, California. It was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996, while they were students at Stanford University. Google remained a privately-held corporation until 2004, when it had an Initial Public Offering (IPO), raising $1.67 Billion.
Google primarily deals with Internet searching and online advertising, but has of late expanded into the realm of web-based e-mail, online mapping, video sharing, and document/spreadsheet creation, among other things.