10 Websites and Brands You Didn’t Know Were Googled

Google recently announced the termination of its Stadia project. It was an attempt by the company to enter the world of game streaming, which didn’t quite work out. While that might be disappointing, for some Google isn’t more development-worn. After all, they have a lot more irons in the fire than you might expect.


Most people are familiar with Google’s main search engine and know that it owns YouTube and Android. But the list of projects, businesses, and websites over which Alphabet Company has control is extensive. These run the gamut from industrial manufacturing companies to companies doing AI research. There are so many companies owned by Google (over 30) that it takes some sort of search engine just to keep track!

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AdSense/DoubleClick/AdMob

AdSense, Admob and DoubleClick logos.

Those in the know may be familiar with AdSense, YouTube’s monetization service. If you’re not into YouTube culture, you might not know that this is all run by a separate Google company from YouTube itself. Google actually owns several companies that handle online advertising and monetization.

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AdSense is primarily used to advertise non-Google products on Google-owned websites. DoubleClick sells advertising opportunities and also allows customers to view online traffic reports. Finally, there is AdMob, which allows you to place advertisements in mobile applications. All three are prolific and notable, and Google owns them all.

Nest

If there’s one brand that pushed innovation further after its takeover by Google, it’s Nest. Nest was originally a range of digital thermostats. It was an interesting novelty how it could adapt to user preferences, but it was limited. After being acquired by Google in 2014, its product line has grown significantly.

These days, Nest offers a variety of home appliances and security devices. They are best known for their Ring-equipped security cameras. Gas and smoke detectors are also available. Although it primarily sells security products, there is also the most versatile device in the form of Google Nest.

socratic

The owl mascot of the Socratic app.

Those under a certain age probably don’t know about Socratic, but it’s been helping students for years. This app helps students with their homework by providing tips and information. Initially it was somewhat limited, but after Google bought it, it became much more useful.

Thanks to AI, the algorithm designed to help with homework has become more powerful. It can now recognize photos of individual problems and use them as a basis for offering advice. Originally it only helped solve math problems, but it has now expanded to other subjects.

DeepMind

The DeepMind logo at the bottom of the sea.

One of the most asked questions about Google online is “are they working on AI?” They have several different AI divisions and have indeed purchased an entire company to work on the technology. The work has been slow, but since 2014 Google has been working with DeepMind to create the first artificial brain.

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DeepMind has used technology from the famous Google search engine to better optimize its search engine. There are many practical applications of the technology used in Google technology. The company is best known for having its AI play classic arcade games.

Launch kit

The LaunchKit logo in front of the Google sign.

Creating a mobile app can be very difficult. Despite mobile being so prevalent, most programmers learn to prioritize programming and designing for the desktop. It’s a good thing that there are several toolkits to make the process easier, like the ones created by LaunchKit.

Google bought LaunchKit a few years ago, likely to help people develop for Android. Although the app is primarily used for this, it works across multiple platforms. It also contains tools to help build the app’s website in addition to the app itself.

Glance

A data log from Looker.

Although its logo has a similar color scheme to Google, they haven’t owned it for long and Google only bought the analytics software in 2020. Their software is mainly used for data management, but it is possible that their technology will soon become more important. .

The software that Looker develops is intended to interface with programming and coding languages. Simply put, it translates code between programming language and basic English. The barrier to entry to coding through his esoteric language would be completely destroyed if Looker succeeded. It’s entirely possible that Google is aiming to position them as a household name soon.

Calico

The Google logo in the center of the Calico logo with DNA sticking out of it.

Calico is the health arm of the Alphabet/Google company and is best known for helping with various research projects on human longevity. They’re most active in California, so users outside of the West Coast might not have heard of them. This is not surprising, considering that their name is an abbreviation of California Life Company.

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Although they participate in most mundane health care practices like drug distribution, their stated purpose is much higher. According to their official mission statement, their goal is to “fight aging”. Ending death is a pretty popular tech idea, but only time will tell if it’s possible.

Waze

Waze app on computer

Many applications use crowdsourcing in order to create a complete and comprehensive database. Waze, the GPS app purchased by Google in 2013, was one such app. Users would input information to map roads and traffic in real time. It was a real innovation in navigation apps that every app started to emulate.

Nowadays, the Waze app itself is a bit limited compared to its competitors. The reason is simple: Google bought the app and integrated its technology into Google Maps. It’s more than a bit dishonest that the original app is still around, even though its functionality has been absorbed by Google Maps. Either way, it makes people unaware of Google’s ownership of the company.

Dandelion

The Dandelion logo in front of a field of dandelions.

It is inevitable that a company as large as Google will eventually join the green power trend. Dandelion Energy is dedicated to bringing geothermal energy systems into home environments. It aims to bring down the price of green energy, which is generally prohibitively expensive.

This company’s home features are common in green circles, but Google isn’t putting its mark on it. Despite this, their products are made by Lab X, the same place where Google’s self-driving cars are produced. Dandelion’s main product is geothermal pipes that circulate heat around a home. The heat is recycled, which allows it to be more environmentally friendly than other heating systems.

Fitbit

Heart rate screen on the Pixel watch.

Google bought Fitbit in 2019 in a gigantic purchase, but most people still don’t realize their fitness watch is made by Alphabet Company. Fitness and technology are two areas that overlap strangely. For those unaware, the Fitbit is a watch device that tracks steps taken and calorie cost over a day. It also allows users to set fitness goals and compete with others.

Even before buying Google, users could sync the watch with a variety of mobile platforms and operating systems, so not much changed for the average user after buying Google. Google hasn’t stated why they acquired the company, but it likely has to do with their aforementioned healthcare division, Calico. Either way, Fitbit has brought technology and exercise out of the gym and into everyday life, and more people should recognize Google’s role in this.

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