While some of its corporate ventures seem off target, many of Google's charitable and public-spirited good works often feed into its business needs.

One such project was Google's student business plan competition in less-developed areas of the world. In 2007, students worked in teams to create a viable Internet business plan for Ukraine. The idea was to help support and grow Internet and online businesses in that country. The winning project, turned in by two students from the Institute of International Relations, was called "Interactive Tour Guide around Ukrainian Cities."

Similar competitions have been held in Africa and other regions. It is in Google's best interest to have more people online and surely surfing the Web using Google.

Additionally, Google.org, its philanthropic arm, invests millions of dollars in projects to develop cost-effective alternative energy sources, something Google dearly wishes for in order to keep its energy-gulping server farms running.

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