|“||If you typed “spanking” into a search engine, you’re erotically interested. Period.||”|
|— Bethany Burke, 2003|
Google is a search engine that allows people to search for content on the World Wide Web. It looks for pages that match a search query. Queries can be single words, lists of words, phrases, or complex combinations of words and phrases. The results returned depend on how well a given page matches the query, and on the "page rank" of the pages found — pages with a higher rank will be listed before ones with lower ranks, if the degree of match is the same.
Google regularly scans pages on the web and records information about their content. It is this recorded information that is used for determining the results of a query.
Google also offers various other services, including Google Groups, which functions as an interface to Usenet, and as an archive of Usenet posts, and also hosts web groups which are not part of Usenet.
Google is supported by advertising revenue, and many of its pages display ads, with some attempt to tailor the ad to the query or the subject of the page.