Google, the search engine giant that has become synonymous with the internet, is celebrating its 25th birthday today. The company was founded by two Stanford University students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who had a vision to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. From a humble research project called “BackRub” to a global phenomenon that offers more than 200 products and services, Google has come a long way in the last quarter century.
How Google started
Google’s story began in 1995, when Page and Brin met as doctoral students in Stanford’s computer science program. They decided to collaborate on a research project that explored the mathematical properties of the web’s link structure. They developed a novel algorithm that ranked web pages based on their popularity and relevance, rather than on keywords or metadata. They named their search engine “Google”, a misspelling of “googol”, a mathematical term for a very large number (10^100).
In 1998, they received their first funding from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, who wrote them a check for $100,000. They moved out of their dorm room and rented a garage in Menlo Park, California, where they set up their first office. They also hired their first employee, Craig Silverstein, who later became Google’s director of technology.
Google’s growth and innovation
Google quickly gained popularity among web users, who appreciated its fast and accurate results. In 2000, Google became the default search engine for Yahoo, one of the most popular web portals at the time. Google also launched AdWords, its online advertising platform that allowed advertisers to bid on keywords and display ads on relevant web pages.
Google also expanded its product portfolio beyond search, acquiring or developing new technologies that catered to various user needs and interests. Some of the most notable products include:
- Gmail: Google’s free email service that launched in 2004 and offered 1 GB of storage space, much more than its competitors. Gmail also introduced features such as conversation view, labels, filters, and spam protection.
- YouTube: The world’s largest video-sharing platform that Google acquired in 2006 for $1.65 billion. YouTube allows users to upload, watch, comment, and share videos on various topics, from entertainment to education.
- Android: Google’s mobile operating system that debuted in 2008 and powers millions of smartphones and tablets around the world. Android is based on open source software and allows users to customize their devices with various apps and widgets.
- Google Maps: Google’s web mapping service that launched in 2005 and provides users with directions, traffic information, satellite imagery, street view, and more. Google Maps also integrates with other Google products such as Search, Assistant, Photos, and Earth.
- Google Chrome: Google’s web browser that launched in 2008 and became the most widely used browser in the world. Chrome is known for its speed, security, simplicity, and compatibility with various web standards and extensions.
Google’s impact and future
Google has become more than just a company; it has become a cultural phenomenon that influences how people access information, communicate, learn, work, play, and more. Google has also been at the forefront of innovation in artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, self-driving cars, biotechnology, quantum computing, and more.
As Google celebrates its 25th birthday today, it also looks forward to the next 25 years of curiosity and progress. In a blog post, Google CEO Sundar Pichai thanked the users for their questions that have moved the company forward and expressed his optimism about the potential of AI to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.
“Thank you for 25 years of curiosity,” Pichai wrote. “We love dreaming up new ways that technology can be helpful to you every day — and are endlessly inspired by what you’ve used it to achieve.”
Google is one of the most influential companies in history, shaping the way we interact with the internet and each other. From its humble beginnings as a research project to its current status as a global leader in technology and innovation, Google has shown us the power of curiosity and creativity. Happy birthday, Google!
Here are some frequently asked questions about Google’s 25th birthday:
- When is Google’s birthday? Google officially celebrates its birthday on September 27 every year since 2002. However, the exact date of its founding is not clear. According to some sources, Google filed for incorporation on September 4, 1998. Other sources suggest that it was registered as a domain name on September 15, 1997.
- Who are the founders of Google? Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who met as doctoral students in Stanford University’s computer science program. They are both still involved in the company, with Page serving as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and Brin as the president of Alphabet.
- What does Google mean? Google is a misspelling of “googol”, a mathematical term for a very large number (10^100). Page and Brin chose this name to reflect their mission to organize the vast amount of information on the web.
- How many products and services does Google offer? Google offers more than 200 products and services that cover various domains such as search, advertising, communication, social media, video, maps, cloud, AI, hardware, and more. Some of the most popular ones include Gmail, YouTube, Android, Google Maps, Google Chrome, Google Photos, Google Drive, Google Assistant, Google Play, Google Translate, and Google Classroom.