The founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, met each other as students as Stanford University. In 1996 they worked together on creating a search engine called BackRub. In the following year they register the google.com domain, the name of which is derived from the mathematcal googol, which is 10^100, which they though would be fitting for the vast amount of information on the World Wide Web.
One of the first investors in Brin and Page's idea was Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, who gave them a cheque for $100,000. In September of 1998, the pair inorporated their company creating the beginning of the entity that world wide web users are familiar with. Initially the hardware was hosted in a friend's garage in California. More funding was secured in 1999 helping the company to grow. The company have had to move their headquarters a few times in order to accomodate the expansion.
In 2004, Google had an Initial Public Offering and is currently listed on the NASDAQ index. As of 2013 Google continues to hold the lion's share of the web search market due to continually introducing new features and products. Some of which include GMail, the Android mobile device operating system which tight integrates with Google's services and has a larger number of users than Apple's iOS.
Google's AdWords and AdSense services have also been massively succesful with a very accurate advertising remuneration model as compared to classic print media. The fact that more people use the web for everything from getting news, communcating to purchasing have meant that online advertising is also of much greater worth than before.