Alphabet A (Google) Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
As our founders Larry and Sergey wrote in the original founders' letter, "Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one." That unconventional spirit has been a driving force throughout our history -- inspiring us to do things like rethink the mobile device ecosystem with Android and map the world with Google Maps. As part of that, our founders also explained that you could expect us to make "smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses." From the start, the company has always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.
Alphabet is a collection of businesses -- the largest of which, of course, is Google. It also includes businesses that are generally pretty far afield of our main Internet products such as Access, Calico, CapitalG, GV, Nest, Verily, Waymo, and X. We report all non-Google businesses collectively as Other Bets. Our Alphabet structure is about helping each of our businesses prosper through strong leaders and independence.
Access and technology for everyone
The Internet is one of the world’s most powerful equalizers, and we see it as our job to make it available to as many people as possible. At its core, Google has always been an information company. We believe that technology is a democratizing force, empowering people through information. We are helping people get online by tailoring hardware and software experiences that suit the needs of emerging markets, primarily through Android and Chrome. We're also making sure our core Google products are fast and useful, especially for users in areas where speed and connectivity are central concerns. Other Alphabet companies are also pursuing initiatives with similar goals.
Many companies get comfortable doing what they have always done, making only incremental changes. This incrementalism leads to irrelevance over time, especially in technology, where change tends to be revolutionary, not evolutionary. People thought we were crazy when we acquired YouTube and Android and when we launched Chrome, but those efforts have matured into major platforms for digital video and mobile devices and a safer, popular browser. We continue to look toward the future and continue to invest for the long-term. We won't become complacent, relying solely on small tweaks. As we said in the original founders' letter, we will not shy away from high-risk, high-reward projects that we believe in because they are the key to our long-term success.
The power of machine learning
Across the company, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly driving many of our latest innovations. Within Google, our investments in machine learning over a decade are what have enabled us to build Google products that get better over time, making them smarter and more useful -- it's what allows you to use your voice to search for information, to translate the web from one language to another, to see better YouTube recommendations, and to search for people and events that are important to you in Google Photos. Machine learning is also showing great promise in helping us tackle big issues, like dramatically improving the energy efficiency of our data centers. Across Other Bets, machine learning helps self-driving cars better detect and respond to others on the road, and can also aid clinicians in detecting diabetic retinopathy.
Serving our users
We have always been a company committed to making big bets that have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people. As the majority of Alphabet’s big bets continue to reside within Google, an important benefit of the shift to Alphabet has been the tremendous focus that we’re able to have on Google’s many extraordinary opportunities. Our innovations in areas like search and advertising have made our services widely used, and our brand one of the most recognized in the world. We generate revenues primarily by delivering online advertising that consumers find relevant and that advertisers find cost-effective.
Google's core products such as Search, Android, Maps, Chrome, YouTube, Google Play, and Gmail each have over one billion monthly active users. But most important, we believe we are just beginning to scratch the surface. Our vision is to remain a place of incredible creativity and innovation that uses our technical expertise to tackle big problems.
Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful has always been our North Star, and our products have come a long way since the company was founded nearly two decades ago. We used to show just ten blue links in our results, which you had to click through to find your answers. Now we are increasingly able to provide direct answers -- even if you're speaking your question using Voice Search -- which makes it quicker, easier and more natural to find what you're looking for. We also introduced the Google Assistant, which allows you to type or talk with Google in a natural conversational way to help you get things done. Over time, we have also added other services that let you access information quickly and easily -- like Google Maps, which helps you navigate to a store while showing you current traffic conditions, or Google Photos, which helps you store and organize all of your photos.
This drive to make information more accessible has led us over the years to improve the discovery and creation of digital content, on the web and through platforms like Google Play and YouTube. And with the migration to mobile, people are consuming more digital content by watching more videos, playing more games, listening to more music, reading more books, and using more apps than ever before.
Fueling all of these great digital experiences are powerful platforms and hardware. That’s why we continue to invest in platforms like our Chrome browser, Android mobile operating system, Chrome operating system, and Daydream virtual reality platform, as well as a new family of great hardware devices like the Pixel phone and Google Home.
Google was a company built in the cloud and has been investing in infrastructure, data management, analytics, and AI from the very beginning. We’ve taken those long-term investments and offer many of the same cloud services to our enterprise customers. Because more and more of today’s great digital experiences are being built in the cloud, our enterprise cloud products help businesses of all sizes take advantage of the latest technology advances to operate more efficiently.
How we make money
The goal of our advertising business is to deliver relevant ads at just the right time and to give people useful commercial information, regardless of the device they’re using. We also provide advertisers with tools that help them better attribute and measure their advertising campaigns across screens. Our advertising solutions help millions of companies grow their businesses, and we offer a wide range of products across screens and devices. We generate revenues primarily by delivering both performance advertising and brand advertising.
• Performance advertising creates and delivers relevant ads that users will click on, leading to direct engagement with advertisers. Most of our performance advertisers pay us when a user engages in their ads. Performance advertising lets our advertisers connect with users while driving measurable results.
For performance advertisers, AdWords, our primary auction-based advertising program, helps create simple text-based ads that appear on Google properties and the properties of Google Network Members. In addition, Google Network Members use our AdSense program to display relevant ads on their properties, generating revenues when site visitors view or click on the ads. We continue to invest in our advertising programs and make significant upgrades.
• Brand advertising helps enhance users' awareness of and affinity with advertisers' products and services, through videos, text, images, and other interactive ads that run across various devices. We help brand advertisers deliver digital videos and other types of ads to specific audiences for their brand-building marketing campaigns.
We have built a world-class ad technology platform for brand advertisers, agencies, and publishers to power their digital marketing businesses. We aim to ensure great user experiences by serving the right ads at the right time and by building deep partnerships with brands and agencies. We also seek to improve the measurability of brand advertising so advertisers know when their campaigns are effective.
Furthermore, we have invested significantly in programmatic advertising to help advertisers reach users when and where it matters through automated ad buying, giving them access to top-tier inventory across screens and formats, as well as the real-time insights that advertisers need to make their buys count.
We have allocated substantial resources to stopping bad advertising practices and protecting users on the web. We focus on creating the best advertising experiences for our users and advertisers in many ways, ranging from removing hundreds of millions of bad ads from our systems every year to closely monitoring the sites and apps that show our ads and blacklisting them when necessary to ensure that our ads do not fund bad content.
Beyond our advertising business, we also generate revenues in emerging areas, such as digital content, cloud services, and hardware.