Google is so much more than just a search engine. It offers a number of services that online businesses can use to boost customer interaction and search engine visibility, and many of them are free:

  • The Web index: The first — and perhaps still the most important — business service is the main Google index. If a business isn't in the index, it's effectively marginalized.

  • Web search: Google provides use of its search engine to sites large and small, under a variety of arrangements from free use to major corporate licensing deals.

  • Google AdWords: AdWords is the advertising program on Google's search pages for which advertisers pay a per-click price. You are billed only when the ad sends traffic to your site.

  • Google AdSense: AdSense is an ad-publishing program for webmasters running professional sites of all sizes. AdSense publishers display Google AdWords ads and share clickthrough revenue with Google.

  • Google Shopping (formerly Froogle): Google's product index is open to any e-commerce company of any size. Search results contain product information and images.

  • Google Catalogs: Like Google Shopping, Google Catalogs is a free service, this one directed to merchants who run mail-order operations with printed catalogs. Google scans the catalogs, makes them searchable by keyword, and links to the merchant's website.

  • Premium and enterprise services: Google offers premium versions of site search, AdWords, and AdSense for high-volume businesses. Google also markets the Search Appliance for intranet searching within the corporation.