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Sunday, February 28, 2010

By this point, just about everyone has heard of Google. You know, it's that minimalist website you use to search the internet. Just a single window, no ads. Enter the topic you're looking for and poof! Instant results, and a lot of 'em.

But, what you might not know is Google is so much more than search.

Google owns YouTube, a massive video site with billions (yes- billions) upons billions of video clips covering every topic imaginable. Other google created sites include:

- Google Documents- a free site that many consider to be Microsoft Word on the web. All of the documents are kept "in the cloud" (a term that means it's stored remotely on Google's computers) and available from any computer with internet access.

- Google Chrome- A web browser of Google's design that operates exactly like "Internet Explorer", but with Google's own twist on the approach.

- Google Books- Millions of out-of-print books have been scanned and are available for reading via your computer, complete and unabridged. For free.

- Picasa- a free (there's that nice word again) program that allows you to download, store, organize, edit (like Photoshop), share all of your photos and videos. A very popular program.

So, why does Google do this all for free? It's simple, really. Google makes their money- a lot of it- by selling ads to companies who want internet readers to see their products or services. The more people who see the ads, the more money Google makes. So, if Google can attract more people to the internet, more money for them, so Google creates and acquires and makes available these products and services to attract more internet visitors.

Who benefits? Google. And you and me. To find out all of the 45+ services that Google offers, go here.

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