In Short

Google is a search company.

OK, Google started as a search company in 1998, when Sergey Brin and Larry Page were doctoral students at Stanford. And fifteen years later? Google is a verb. That's how ingrained it's become into our lexicon, as well as into our lives. If you want to know something, you "Google" it.

On August 10, 2015, Google became part of the umbrella company, Alphabet, with Sundar Pichai taking charge as CEO. The announcement came as a surprise to everyone when it was dropped on Google's blog by Larry Page.

Of course, Google is so much more now. It's an advertising company (which still provides the bulk of its revenue). It's a video-hosting company, with YouTube. It's a social network, with Google+. It's a mobile company, with Android. It's leading the wearables revolution with Google Glass and Android Wear. Google's making inroads into enterprise with its web-based infrastructures, to the point where municipal governments and private businesses alike are ditching the server racks for the cloud. It's seeking to change the way we use computers with its not-quite-a-thin-client Chromebooks.

And that was just the first 15 years.

Where will Google go next? That's a question many of us can't wait to see answered. And, understandably, it's a question many are wary of. Is Google too big? Is it too powerful? Does it know too much? Is it doing the right things for the right reasons? Or is it just trying to become as rich and powerful as it possibly can? Those are all fair questions, and ones that Google should ask itself, and ones that we as its customers should continue to it.