When was the last time that you searched something on Google? Not long ago, right?
The Google search engine processes more than 40,000 search queries every second which means 3.5 billion searches per day and typically 1.2 trillion searches per year.
There’s no doubt that Google is one of the biggest inventions in the history of the internet. It is not that Google is the first of its kind, search engines have been around since the early days of internet. But Google, which was relatively a late comer, went on to become the ultimate destination for almost every search.
So, how did Google go on to become what it is today? or what is the history of Google?
The write-up will take you on a quick tour around history of Google – right from its inception till today. Let’s begin:
Where it all started?
It all began in the summer of 1995, when Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at the Stanford University, where the former was considering Stanford for a grad, while latter was already two years into the program. Though their earlier encounters were filled with some disagreements due to the fact that both of them were highly intellectual, they still used to discuss about a lot of things.
They eventually ended up striking a partnership. They built a search engine that considered backlinks as an important factor while ranking individual pages. They named it Backrub. It considered pages with higher number of links to be of more use and hence ranked them higher in search results. Initially, the engine ran on Stanford servers, but gradually started clogging up much space and as a result was later registered as Google.com on September 15th, 1997.
In 1997, both Page and Brin decided to rename Backrub to Google. The word Google is basically a play on the word Googol – a mathematical term for 1 followed by 100 zeros.
This aptly reflected the mission of Larry and Brin to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
From a Garage to the Googleplex – How Google was founded?
Soon, Google started growing popular as a search engine. Vast computing resources were being eaten up by spidering, indexing and cataloging of the web pages. What started as a shoestring project soon required much more computing power and scale to operate.
|Fun Fact: On searching Google with “Google in 1998” you can find the old interface of Google search result page.|
In August 1998, Sun Microsystems’ co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, who was a former PhD student at Stanford wrote Larry and Brin a check for $100,000 which eventually founded the official Google Inc. The newly born team decided to move out from the dorm rooms to their first office, which happened to be a Garage in suburban Menlo Park, California. Ironically, the present CEO of YouTube – Susan Wojcicki, was the owner of that garage.
Google launched its first Doodle of the Burning Man festival in Nevada. Since then, the Doodle is regularly updated to new themes and celebrations.
In February 1999, Google again relocated to another office in the neighboring city of Palo Alto.
In 2001, Google opened its first international office in Tokyo, and then three years later, moved to a new headquarters along with over 800 employees. The headquarters is what we know as Googleplex today.
From here, there was certainly no looking back for the company. It went on to launch new services and products primarily focused on the end users. This included launch of Gmail service. The company also held its first IPO (initial public offering) which helped them raise $1.67 billion, valuing the company at $23 million. (Exactly a decade later in 2014, the company’s market capitalization was valued at $390 billion).
|Fun Fact: On typing Google Mirror, you can see a rotated version of Google. There are many other hidden fun tricks like 360 degree barrel roll, Google terminal, underwater, zero gravity, playing guitar, Pacman etc. that make searching all the more fun!|
From 2005, Google kept launching new strings of services – Google Maps and Google Analytics; Google Calendar and Google Translate in 2006; its mobile operating system Android in 2007 and Google Chrome – its web browser in 2008. Between these years, the company also acquired a number of businesses, this includes the acquisition of YouTube in 2006.
|Fun Fact: Google since 2010, has been acquiring on an average at least one company every week.|
Google also launched a lab called – Google X, to develop revolutionary products such as delivery drones and self-driving cars.
A mention-worthy change came in 2015, when Google reorganized its operations and its ventures into a conglomerate called Alphabet. By this time, the company was managing a plethora of services from various biotech businesses focused on increasing human lifespan to manufacturing various internet connected devices along with internet services.
Growing from strength to strength
Google went on to become planet’s most popular search engine. Even the word Google got added in the lexicon as a verb which means to search something on the world wide web.
Google now offers over 50 internet services and products – email, cloud storage, cloud computing platform, mobile phones and even tablet computers.
The size and broad product portfolio, helped Google being recognized amongst the most influential companies in the tech marketplace along with other big names like Apple, IBM and Microsoft.
|Fun Fact: The first Google computer storage was actually made with Legos.|
Despite the existence of various products, its search tool remains the core and the most powerful service of Google. If reports are to be believed, Google earns most of its revenue through its advertising that is based on users’ search requests.
A quick look at the history of Google since 1995:
1995: The year when Larry Page and Sergey Brin first met at Stanford University.
1996: Both Larry and Sergey decided to collaborate on a project named Backrub – analyzing website backlinks for relevance. This year marked the release of the first version of Google on the university website.
1997: Google.com is born officially.
1998: Google Inc. (still unincorporated) gets its first investment of $ 100,000 offered by Andy Bechtolsheim – co-founder Sun Microsystems. The company also moves out from the university dorm room to a garage in Silicon Valley. Google finally gets incorporated on September 4th but it’s birthday is celebrated on September 27th.
1999: Google relocates to another office along with eight employees. Company also arranges venture capital worth $25M.
2000: Google.com releases its 10 language versions: German, French, Danish, Swedish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Norwegian, Spanish and Finnish. It also got into an agreement with Yahoo to become its default search provider.
2001: Google buys Deja.com’s Usenet Discussion Service as its first public acquisition.
2002: Official Launch of Google News with around 4,000 sources.
2003: Google buys Pyra Labs – creators of bloggers. Google was voted as the most useful word by the members of American Dialect Society for the year 2002.
2004: Google becomes public with IPO valuing at $85 per share. Gmail services were launched.
2005: Launch of Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Talk.
2006: Google gets launched in China. It also acquires video-sharing site YouTube. Launch of Google Apps or what we know as the G Suite.
2007: Acquires online advertising company – DoubleClick.
2008: New partnership announcement with Yahoo. Launch of new web browser – Google Chrome.
2009: Sergey Brin and Larry Page were ranked fifth amongst most powerful people, worldwide.
2010: Google gets into mobile market with its first Android phone – Nexus One.
2011: Google launches Google +1. Larry Page takes over as CEO. Release of Google Cloud Platform.
2012: Google introduces new project – Project Glass. It also launches Google Drive and Google Play.
2013: Google launches its chat platform – Hangouts. Chromecast is also launched this year.
2014: Google buys Nest – manufacturer of Wi-Fi enabled automated thermostats, smoke detector systems and other security systems.
2015: Google announces reorganizing as a holding company called – Alphabet. Larry took role as the CEO of Alphabet, while Sundar Pichai is declared the new CEO of Google.
2016: Google launches deep learning courses at Udacity. Google’s parent company – Alphabet, gets ahead of Apple as the world’s most valuable company with a total worth of $568 billion.
Google undoubtedly has evolved a lot to become what it is today. We hope the write-up makes you know the history of Google from A to Z.
Do let me know your thoughts through the comments section below.