Google officially turns twenty this month! Everyone uses the famous search engine, but few people know how it started and how much it has evolved over the years to become the tech giant that it is today.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google on September 4, 1998, in Menlo Park, California. It began as a research project in January 1996, when Page and Brin were both Ph.D. students at Stanford University. The name Google is a misspelling of the word “googol,” which is the number one followed by one-hundred zeros. It signifies the site’s intended purpose: to provide an infinite amount of information.
Originally, Google did not have its own domain. It ran under Stanford’s website under the domain “google.stanford.edu.” On September 15, 1997, the founders registered their own domain and on September 4, 1998, the company was incorporated.
Like Apple, Google began in a garage, with two guys and a big dream. Now, it’s a multi-billion-dollar company, worth approximately $132 billion according to Forbes. While their idea was far from perfect, continued tweaks and improvements have contributed to the internet as we know it today.
“I’ve always been struck by the fact that Google search worked the same as long as you had access to a computer with connectivity, [whether] you were a rural kid anywhere or a professor at Stanford or Harvard,” said Sundar Pinchai, CEO of Google, to The Verge. Pinchai was chosen as CEO in 2015, replacing Larry Page.
Throughout its twenty years, Google has achieved new levels of success and innovation, spreading its sphere of influence to try and capture every technology market. In 2006, the company acquired YouTube, a video platform where anyone can share their creations. In 2013, Google Glass was launched, introducing smart glasses that allowed people hands-free access to videos, pictures, and more.
Unsurprisingly, the site has maintained its spot as the number one search engine; 77 percent of global searches go through Google according to ThinkGrowth. With each update and improvement, Google has revolutionized search, bringing reputation-based ranking, recommendations, and more to the results.
“…I do want Google to see, push, and invest more in making sure computing is more accessible, connectivity is more accessible,” said Pinchai. “It matters that we drive technology as an enabler for everyone around the world.”
The company’s future is boundless as they continue to make strides in technological advancement. The creators at Google will continue to research and develop projects as its goal is to reach as many people as possible, always chasing the next billion while they do it. The site’s creation has allowed people worldwide to access enormous amounts of information with the click of a button. It goes without saying that their influence continues to be seen in our everyday life, creating the well-known and apt phrase: “Just Google It.”
by Abigail Castro