- Google celebrates turning 25 today. The company was incorporated on September 27, 1998.
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin were the two bright minds to create the popular search engine. They initially called it ‘BackRub‘ while still in their Stanford University dorm room.
- They started Google with a vision to make all the information on the World Wide Web very accessible.
- A throwback to the past with the willingness to grow further in the future is the essence of this tech company.
It’s a Silver Jubilee Celebration for Google as it turns 25! You know you’ve made it as a company when your name is used as a verb. “Google” is synonymous with the term “search.” We tend to say “Just Google it,” whenever we are looking for some information. 25 years on, the search giant is still the default browser to search the web for most people. It is actually hard to envisage what life was like before Google. Today’s Doodle celebrates Google’s 25th year. It comes with a GIF that turns the tech company’s name into ‘G25gle.’
While future-oriented, birthdays can also be a time to reflect making it an opportune occasion to revisit the company’s humble beginnings and extraordinary evolution. In today’s article, we take a walk down memory lane and look at some key moments and milestones achieved by the tech giant. Google spoke about dedicating today’s ‘Google Doodle’ to its users saying “You make billions of searches everyday around the globe, but our Search for love and joy has always led to you 🥰 Celebrating 25 years of growing together with this #GoogleDoodle“
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The Birth of Google
Two doctoral students Sergey Brin and Larry Page met in Stanford University’s computer science program in the late ‘90s. They quickly learned that they shared a similar vision: to make the World Wide Web a more accessible place. The pair worked tirelessly from their dorm rooms to develop a prototype for a better search engine.
Two years later their project was noticed by investor Andy Bechtolsheim, who wrote them a $100,000 cheque. They used the cash to start Google’s first office in the rented Menlo Park, California garage of their friend, and future YouTube boss, Susan Wojcicki. After buying the domain name Google.com, Sergey and Larry got to work. And on September 27, 1998, Google Inc. was officially born forever changing the digital landscape.
Though a lot has changed since 1998 including their logo as seen in today’s Doodle — but Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, has remained the same. Billions of people from all over the globe use Google to search, connect, work, play, and do so much more. As the company marks this significant milestone, it expresses gratitude to its users for evolving alongside them over the past 25 years.
Did You Know?
The name Google is inspired by the word ‘Googol‘- a mathematical term that represents a very large number.
Google evokes nostalgia with the reel they posted on their Instagram: A Google-themed birthday cake followed by a plate filled with samosa, chips, a slice of cake, and chocolates, just like those good old 90’s birthday parties with friends. They also wrote a sweet letter to its users saying “In our 25 years of growing up together, we’re glad that all our searches led to you 🙂”
The tech giant took a “walk down memory lane” and took the users through all the doodles created on past birthdays to mark this special occasion. It showcases the ever-evolving nature of the tech company which believes in constant innovation.
Everything about Google has a history associated with it, including its workplaces. They also shared a blog highlighting 25 fun facts about Google offices and data centers.
25 years ago, Google Search launched from a garage in a California suburb. Today, we have offices and data centers on six continents, in over 200 cities. In honor of our 25th birthday tomorrow, take a world tour with us #Google25 ↓ https://t.co/lRCaDCJvg0— Google (@Google) September 26, 2023
Let us take you through some of the highlighting moments in the history of Google on this joyous occasion!
Having set up its own campus in Mountain View, California (in the Silicon Valley), the company launched AdWords. This allowed advertisers to purchase search terms they wanted to be in the results for. AdWords started a money train that turned Google into one of the world’s richest firms.
How Google Images Came To Be
In 2000 when Hollywood red carpet events were a much tamer affair, Jennifer Lopez stole the show with her iconic outfit at the Grammys, which no one could stop talking about. She had worn a backless jungle-inspired green Versace dress, with a deep, plunging neckline and translucent fabric. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt explained how it was the most popular search query they had ever seen. This incident is what gave birth to Google Images.
Email To Gmail
The next big development came on April 1, 2004 when Google announced Gmail (despite the timing, it wasn’t a joke). It had the power of Google Search built right in and grouped your messages into conversation threads, making it easier to find and reply to them. You could also store 1GB of data for free— nearly 100 times what was available at the time. Thereby making Gmail an integral part of our lives, and helped push back competition from the likes of YahooMail and Microsoft’s Hotmail.
Google revolutionised how we navigate the real world with Google Maps and Google Earth. The former is now the default GPS tool for commuters and delivery drivers alike, while the latter gave anyone with a computer and internet the chance to explore far-away parts of the world in 3D. In 2007, Google Maps was further upgraded with Street View. The company would send out cars with huge cameras strapped to the top of them to capture pictures of the world’s roads.
Another 2005 milestone was Google’s $50 Million purchase of Android, which is considered to be one of the most important moments in the history of mobile phones. Android OS is the backbone of just about every non-Apple handset. It batted away competitors like Microsoft and Nokia to become the iPhone maker’s only real rival.
A year later, in 2006, Google made another significant purchase. The tech giant bought YouTube for $1.65 Billion. The internet’s most ubiquitous video platform has been the bread and butter of the creator economy for years now and has created an entirely new breed of digital celebrities.
“Google” In Dictionary
Another 2006 milestone was Google’s addition to the Oxford English Dictionary. Listed as a verb, the dictionary entry says: “To use the Google search engine to find information on the internet. To search for information about (a person or thing) using the Google search engine.“
Like Gmail became everyone’s preferred email, Google Chrome became the browser of choice when launched in 2008. Even though it’s not the default option on Windows PCs or Apple Macs, Chrome is way more in demand than any other web browser.
Play Store was the tech company’s answer to Apple’s App Store in 2012, replacing Android Market. The timing turned out well, as that year also saw the launch of a popular game called Candy Crush. The Play Store raked in a whopping $42 Billion in revenue last year.
A New Look
Google got a complete makeover in 2015, with a new logo across its search engine and other products. It was also the year of a major restructuring, as it transformed into a new company called Alphabet alongside other divisions, like the smart home platform Nest.
A year later, the tech giant started making its own phones with the Pixel, replacing the old Nexus branding and joining its then-recently launched smart speakers “Google Home” on shop shelves. The latest version is due in just a few weeks.
Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin relinquished control of Alphabet in December 2019, handing the reins over to Google’s Chief Executive Sundar Pichai. He still leads the company and this year saw him attend meetings with world leaders including Rishi Sunak to discuss the potential and threats of AI.
Google’s internal work on LaMDA came to fruition earlier this year with the launch of Bard. The chatbot’s launch was fast-tracked following the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and is becoming integral to Google’s business model. Bard is incorporated into everything from Gmail to Docs. The company’s future definitely looks bright with its own AI tech.
From The CEO
Google’s current CEO Sundar Pichai penned a note to mark the company’s birthday last month. He looked back at the tech giant’s journey, its role in transforming technology, and the path towards the future. He expressed his gratitude to the users, employees, and partners who have been a part of Google’s success. Sundar Pichai also expressed appreciation for the constant challenge to innovate and the dedication of past and present Googlers. In his note, Mr. Pichai also highlighted the importance of innovation and adaptation. He acknowledged that what was once seen as extraordinary technology quickly became ordinary as the boundaries continued to be pushed.
The company announced a birthday special discount offer on the Google Pixel. As per their blog, they said, “Save up to 25% on select Pixel phones and get a limited-edition Google birthday mini tote with every Pixel purchase.“
Google has always been and will continue to remain an integral part of our lives. There was suspicion that the advent of AI language models would hamper the search engine’s user base and usage, but it is still running strong. 25 years strong. Happy Birthday, Google!