How to trade Google shares: a complete guide

Learn all about what Google is, its share trading hours, and how to trade Google share CFDs with

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What is Google?

Google, traded as Alphabet, is a multinational technology company known primarily for its search engine, one of the most widely used globally. Founded in 1998 by Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google has evolved over the years into a diverse conglomerate offering a wide range of products and services ranging from Google Ads to cloud computing services through Google Cloud Platform, to productivity tools like Google Workspace. It also offers consumer hardware such as Pixel smartphones and Nest smart home devices.

One of Google's most significant assets is its vast ecosystem of online services, including YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Drive, which are used by billions of people worldwide. Google's dominance in online search and its diverse product offerings have made it one of the world's most valuable companies, with a significant influence on internet culture, digital advertising, and technological innovation.

Over the past five years Google stock has increased dramatically, largely due to the success of its search, advertising, cloud, and Workspace services, not to mention the enduring popularity of YouTube and Android. In the 2023 fiscal year, the company’s revenue amounted to $305.6bn.

What is Google’s share price history?

Google’s share price history began when it listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange on 19 August 2004 at $85 a share, with the IPO raising $1.67 billion and valuing the company at more than $23 billion. 

Over the following years, Google established recognition as the foremost player in search and advertising. It grew revenues rapidly, expanding its product offering and acquired YouTube in 2006, marking a strategy entry into the online video space. 

During the 2008 financial crisis, the share price fell in line with many other companies, but the stock managed to recover in the early months of 2009. By 2012, the introduction of Google Fiber and a foray into the broadband internet market saw it diversify again and signal its ambitions beyond search. The company’s first stock split was in 2014, which created class C shares without voting rights. The event marked a corporate restructuring which created Alphabet Inc as the Google parent company. 

2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic sent shares tumbling in line with a majority of other global stocks during a highly uncertain period. However, a rebound in demand for online services and advertising meant the company was able to bounce back, and 2021 was a highly successful year as increased internet usage during lockdowns saw services from cloud to video streaming pick up. 

However, 2022 was a different story as the Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy decisions lowered the value of risk assets such as stocks – including Alphabet. The slump was short-lived though as the stock has since rebounded to hit record highs, surpassing $150 as of 27 March 2024.

*Alphabet Class C share price data from Macrotrends. Correct as of 27 March 2024. Share price references encompass the effect of stock splits. 

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

What factors might affect the Google share price?

The Google (Alphabet) share price can be impacted by a range of key fundamental events that can impact its many divisions in diverse ways. Here are a few of the main factors that traders should watch out for.  

  • Product launches and innovations: Google is a pioneer in new product offerings, with innovations such as Google Cloud, Google Maps and Google Earth amounting to a diverse portfolio of services. The company is frequently looking to expand into new areas, where it has historically often gained significant market share, strengthening the appeal of its overall service and often boosting its share price in turn. 

  • Earnings reports: quarterly earnings reports are an important way for market participants to understand how Alphabet is tracking in terms of sales, profits, and earnings per share. If results are different to analysts’ expectations, the share price may move accordingly.

  • Macroeconomic conditions: the strength of the economy, and the subsequent level of consumer confidence, can have a significant impact on sales for any business. For Google, advertising spend may fluctuate depending on appetite for business spending, with lower demand potentially meaning lower ad rates charged and vice versa. Naturally, other revenue streams such as cloud, hardware sales and subscription services may also see variable performance according to demand.

  • Competition: Google faces intense competition across the range of sectors in which it operates. While it dominates search, it faces stiffer competition in areas such as online advertising from players like Facebook, in cloud computing, from giants such as Amazon web Services, and in mobile operating systems, where Apple’s iOS is a formidable rival. 

  • Regulatory landscape: Google also faces competition-related regulatory challenges, particularly regarding antitrust concerns and data privacy regulations. Regulatory scrutiny and legal actions can impact Google's business operations, market entry strategies, and competitive dynamics, potentially affecting its revenue growth and market dominance.

What are Google’s stock trading hours?

Google’s (Alphabet’s) stock trading hours on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange are Monday to Friday from 2:30pm to 9:00pm (UK time).

If you choose to trade CFDs, you can follow the Alphabet stock performance live in US dollars with the comprehensive Alphabet share price chart.

Monitoring the company’s activity can help you to keep an eye out for any key fundamental or technical events that may affect short-term movements in the Google share value.

How to trade Alphabet shares with CFDs

If you want to take a position on Alphabet shares, you have two options. First, you can buy physical shares in the company through the exchange on which it’s listed. In this case, investing in Alphabet means you will own a share, or shares, in the company. This can be considered a long-term investment, as you’re hoping for the price to rise over time.

Alternatively, you can trade Class A or Class C shares using a derivative product such as a contract for difference (CFD) on the underlying Alphabet stock market price, and speculate on its price movements without actually owning the asset. A CFD is a financial contract, typically between a broker and a trader, where one party agrees to pay the other the difference in the value of a security, between the opening and closing of the trade.

Unlike physical share ownership, you can either hold a long position (speculating that the price will rise) or a short position (speculating that the price will fall). This is considered a short-term investment or trade, as CFDs tend to be used within shorter timeframes.

Another key difference between buying physical google shares and trading through a derivative is the leverage that can be employed with the latter. CFDs are traded on margin, which means that a trader can gain exposure to larger positions with a relatively small outlay. This is also known as leveraged trading, where both your profits and losses are amplified, making it risky. You can learn how to trade shares in our comprehensive guide to shares trading.

To trade Alphabet stock CFDs with us, just sign up for a account, and once you’re verified, you can use our advanced web platform or download our intuitive yet easy-to-use app. It’ll take just a few minutes to get started and access the world’s most-traded markets.

Why trade Alphabet CFDs with

Trading CFDs with means you’ll enjoy an intuitive, supremely easy-to-use platform, 24/7 support, fair and transparent pricing, along with award-winning education to help build your experience in the markets.* You can seamlessly integrate our smart platform with elite third-party software TradingView and MT4, and refine your strategies with our risk-free demo. 

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What is Alphabet?

Alphabet is the holding company that owns Google. It was formed through a corporate restructuring on 2 October, 2015, when Google stock became Alphabet stock. Google today exists as a subsidiary of Alphabet, with the latter overseeing various other businesses and initiatives outside of Google’s core internet services.

What does Alphabet own?

Alphabet owns a range of other business units including global video-sharing platform YouTube, which it acquired in 2006 for stock valued at $1.65 billion. The company also owns smartphone operator Android, digital advertising operator DoubleClick, and Fitbit, the wireless-enabled wearable tech firm – in addition to other companies. 

Is Google a good stock to buy right now?

Google’s price is liable to change and various market conditions can influence this movement. In order to get a better gauge of price action, technical indicators may make sense of key support and resistance or overbought/oversold conditions, and fundamental drivers such as earnings reports, economic conditions, and performance of competitors are also important factors to consider. Visiting our technical analysis section can help you understand the indicators and price action clues to look out for. 

What is the current price of Alphabet stock?

As of 27 March 2024, Alphabet Class A shares were priced around $149 a share, but as with any asset the market price is dynamic and liable to change at any time. If you’re trading this stock, it’s important to check the Alphabet chart frequently to keep on top of price movements, as well as retain a strong understanding of the fundamental and technical influences that can cause the price to shift.

Who owns Alphabet?

Alphabet is owned primarily by institutional investors including BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, while founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page retain significant stakes in the business. Sundar Pichai, the Alphabet CEO as of 2024, also owns shares in the company. 

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