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A cunning search engine originally used only by geeks but now used by everyone. Philosophers sometimes wonder what the world would be like without Google, and quite rightly - Google is so mindbogglingly popular now that its persistence as a verb ('to Google') is likely to be around for a long time.

Also, their stock value is among the highest in the NASDAQ stock exchange making Google the most valuable search engine, and not just in terms of usefulness. Their stock value is, as of this editing, predicted to exceed 500 USD per share by the end of this year.

In what some might feel to be a bizarrely self-harming move, Google have taken to suing (or making threats in that direction) people who use the verb 'to google' in print, claiming that this is a breach of copyright. Some magazines, such as the New Scientist, take this threat seriously enough to find euphemisms. Ironically, the word 'Google' is a mis-spelling of 'Googol', the number 10100. So the spelling 'to googol' is both grammatically more correct and avoids any possible breach of copyright.

Google also come under some criticism from the free software community because they are sometimes accused of making a great deal of money on the back of community software, but giving relatively little back to the community.