All you need to know about Google shares

Written by
Gyula L.
Fact checked by
Tamás D.
12h ago

Google is a US tech conglomerate company that operates the leading search engine in the world and is also behind Android and many other tech products and services. It was founded in 1998 and its shares are traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange through its parent holding company Alphabet Inc., under the GOOGL ticker. Google is one of the most widely known and influential tech companies that has become a part of the daily lives of billions of people.

This article provides an overview of all the essential information you need to know about Google shares in case you want invest in the company. We'll cover everything from Google's company history and how many Google shares there are to where you can buy Google shares.

What should you know about Google shares?

Google has been a publicly traded company since 2004, which means that its shares can be bought and sold freely on the stock market. Google shares are traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the US, under the main ticker symbol GOOGL.

Company history

Google LLC was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University in California, USA. The company's main focus was creating a search engine that would provide users with the most relevant results. Google's search algorithm quickly gained popularity and the company went public in 2004, becoming one of the largest IPOs in history. Over time, Google expanded into a variety of sectors, including hardware, cloud computing, and advertising. Most recently, it unveiled an artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbot for its search services in February 2023. 

In 2015, Google reorganized its operations as a conglomerate named Alphabet Inc. Google itself became Alphabet's largest subsidiary and the company that handles all of Alphabet's internet interests. Today, it is actually Alphabet shares that are traded on the NASDAQ market, but the ticker still reflects the Google name, it being GOOGL (for Class A shares) and GOOG (for Class C shares). You will see most market and news sites refer to the company as Alphabet (Google).

The bottom line is that if you want to invest in Google, you need to look for the stock with the ticker symbol GOOGL.

Stock price history

The stock price of a company is determined by a variety of different factors, such as its financial performance, market trends and investor sentiment.

Google shares started trading on the stock market in August 2004 at around $2.5 per share, while the stock hit its peak of around $150 in 2021, which means that its value increased by a multiple of around 60x. The company, with its market capitalization of more than $1.2 trillion at the time of writing (February 9, 2023), was ranked the fourth-biggest company by value in the world.

How many shares of Google are there?

As of February 2023, the number of outstanding shares of Google is approximately 13 billion, according to data from the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. However, this number can change over time as a result of stock splits, stock buybacks, or the issuing of new shares.

Google stock's free float, which indicates the number of shares available for trading by the public, was approximately 11.26 billion shares as of February 2023. This is calculated by taking the number of outstanding shares and deducting any restricted stock, such as shares held by company insiders, which may not be publicly traded.

You can find the exact number of Google shares by searching for Google's ticker symbol (GOOGL) on a financial website or by checking the company's latest filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

How to buy direct Google stocks?

You cannot buy Google stocks directly from the company.

If you want to invest in Google by buying stock, you have to purchase shares in its parent company, called Alphabet Inc, which has the ticker symbol GOOGL.

You can buy individual Google shares at any brokerage company that offers stock trading. See the section below for more information on where you can buy Google shares.

Where can you buy Google shares?

You can buy Google shares at any online brokerage that provides access to US stock markets. As Nasdaq, the US stock market where Google is traded, is a very popular global trading exchange, you should have no trouble at all finding the best broker to fit your personal needs.

Here are some examples of major online brokerage firms that BrokerChooser experts recommend, where you can buy and sell Google shares:


There are many other good options as well, including commission-free brokers where you will not be charged a fee for stock purchases. Check our Brokerage Fee Calculator to see which broker is the cheapest for buying Google shares. Commission-free brokers will be highlighted and listed at the top.

How to find the right broker to buy Google shares

BrokerChooser experts have analyzed more than 100 global brokerages in detail, so won't have to. Just use our Find My Broker tool to easily find a broker that is available in your country and where you can buy Google shares.

Kep in mind that brokers may have different fees and requirements, so it is always a good idea to compare and choose a brokerage that best fits your investment needs. Use our Compare Brokers tool to see how various brokerages stack up against each other along various factors.

How to buy your first Google share

Will buying Google be your first stock trade ever? Don't worry! Just use our dedicated step-by-step guide to make the process a smooth and easy one. We'll help you start trading stocks on your own in no time!


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Further reading

Author of this article

Gyula Lencsés, CFA
Gyula Lencsés, CFA

Gyula is a former analyst expert and Head of Content at BrokerChooser. With over a decade in finance, he led content creation at BrokerChooser and personally evaluated some of our 100+ listed brokers. He opened real-money accounts, executed transactions, and engaged with customer services, offering firsthand assessments. Prior to BrokerChooser, he managed mutual funds in wealth management, trading stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, forex, and derivatives. His goal: simplify the hunt for top brokers in a dynamic investment landscape.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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