The History of Google

Introduction

  • Google is one of the leading tech giants today. But, Google was not known by its current name initially. In fact, it was known as “backrub” as that was the algorithm that helped in analyzing the website’s “backlinks”. In this blog post, let’s look at more such interesting facts in the history of Google.
  • If you are an online user, whose favorite pastime is “Googling”, you should not stop reading this blog post.
  • In this post, we will be talking about the History of Google The Founders of Google, about the name – Google, about Yahoo’s failed acquisition, Google’s initial garage set-up, how funds started flowing in, Google’s shift from the garage, all about Google Adwords, Google’s acquisition of Android, Google’s acquisition of YouTube, all about G-Suite and Google Apps, all about Google Maps, all about the launch of Google Chrome, all about Alphabet, a brief look at the current stats of Google.

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The History of Google

The Founders of Google

  • In January 1996, Ph.D. students of Stanford University, California, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin started Google as a research project. They were the creators of PageRank which was developed to determine the importance of a website by looking at its incoming links. They even developed a Search Engine using PageRank.

About the Name – Google

  • As already mentioned above, the company was initially known as Backrub. The domain name, Google.com was registered on September 15, 1997, and on September 4, 1998, the company came into existence. The founders chose the word Google based on “googol” which represented a mathematical number (1 followed by 100 zeros). They wanted to ascertain the importance of their goal which was to arrange an infinite amount of information digitally.  

About Yahoo’s failed Acquisition

  • Yahoo had almost taken over Google if it was not for a failed acquisition. The founders asked a price of $1million in 1998 from Yahoo to sell their PageRank system. Yahoo did not agree because the price they were asking for was quite high as per Yahoo.

Google’s Initial Garage Set-Up

  • Since their site generated a lot of traffic, it brought down Stanford’s servers which hosted it, and soon Stanford’s IT Department showed the door to the founders of Google. The result was a “garage office” that was set up at Susan Wojcicki’s garage in 1998. Who was Susan? A Google employee and YouTube Head.

How did Funds start flowing in?

  • When Google was not even incorporated, Google Inc. received a seed investment amounting to $100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim, the founder of Sun Microsystems.
  • Page and Brin impressed Bechtolsheim with their idea of making money through a search engine and that was from the placement of search ads. These ads placed in the search results were relevant to the users’ searches.
  • Now Google was officially incorporated in the garage office with Larry Page as the CEO of Google Inc. on September 4, 1998.

Google’s shift from the Garage

  • In February 1999, Google finally bid adieu to its garage office and shifted its operations to Palo Alto. During the same time, Google recruited its first employee named Craig Silverstein, who eventually joined the Khan Academy after a 10-year+ stint at Google.
  • The company started growing by leaps and bounds with more employees and more investment opportunities.
  • Google wanted to run their servers on Linux and signed up Redhat entrusting them with all internet computing tasks.
  • Around the same time, Google adopted its unofficial corporate philosophy, “Don’t be evil”.
  • Venture capital funding started flowing in June 1999 to the tune of $25 million which was invested by Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

All about Google Adwords

  • In 2000, Google came out with its second advertising program, AdWords.
  • In 2001, upon insistence from Sequoia Capital, Google appointed Eric Schmidt as the CEO. He had joined Google as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
  • Finally, the founders could focus on the technological aspect.
  • In April 2003, Google’s purchase of Applied Semantics gave it the much-needed boost to consolidate its contextual ads program.
  • In 2003, the founders of Google refused an offer of $3 billion as they were more focused on Google.
  • In 2004, Google relocated to its newly leased headquarters, popular to us as Googleplex.
  • On April 1, 2004, Google came up with its email service, Gmail.
  • In August 2004, Google’s initial public offering entered the market at a price of $85 per share.

Google’s Acquisition of Android

  • July 2005 saw the acquisition of Android Inc. by Google for $50 million. Android Inc. was known for offering a fresh type of mobile operating system based on the Linux Kernel. What attracted Page and Brin to Android was the fact that the operating system was free to use for everyone.

Google’s Acquisition of YouTube

  • The year 2006 saw the acquisition of YouTube by Google for $1, 65 Billion. It was a risky move given the fact that users uploaded copyrighted content on YouTube without permission which attracted potential lawsuits. Google turned the tables by coming to negotiation with content owners and adopting a favorable takedown policy. This resulted in the redemption of Youtube which now boasts an annual revenue of billions of dollars.

All about G-Suite and Google Apps

  • In July 2007, Google bought Postini whose technology it was already using for Gmail. With the acquisition, Google had an eye on expansion to other internet-based services.
  • The latter half of 2010 saw Google strengthening its cloud offerings with revamped branding. That is how we got Google Apps for Business and Google Apps.

All about Google Maps

  • In 2004, Google acquired Keyhole which was later leveraged to build Google Earth and add new features to Google Maps.
  • Google Maps, which used satellite images to provide help during Hurricane Katrina, came into existence in 2005.
  • Google Maps with GPS was introduced as a beta version in 2007 and was officially launched in addition to Android in 2008.

All about the Launch of Google Chrome

  • To overcome the costs of setting different browsers as a default search engine, Google founders decided to build a Google-owned browser by hiring Mozilla Firefox developers. This resulted in the official launch of Google Chrome as a beta version in September 2008 for Windows XP. It soon became a huge hit with users.

All about Alphabet

  • In 2011, Larry Page took over the reins of Google from Eric Schmidt.
  • Larry and Sergey decided to create a holding company to include several companies under it including Google,  Google Fiber, DeepMind, GV, Calico, CapitalG, X, Jigsaw, Makani, Sidewalk Labs, Verily, Waymo, Loon, and Wing. This company was named Alphabet. While Larry became the CEO of the company, it was Sergey who became the President of Alphabet. Senior Vice president, Sundar Pichai, then became the CEO of Google. This way, the founders could focus on the technological aspect once again.

A brief look at the current statistics of Google

  • As per StatCounter, Google‘s search engine market share globally is 92.03% in August 2021.
  • As per Fool, Google’s current net worth is around $280 billion.
  • Alphabet became the fourth company to reach a trillion-dollar market capitalization globally as of January 2020.
  • As per Investopedia, Google is the owner of around 200 companies.
  • As per SearchEngineLand, Google gets more than 63,000 searches per second.

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Conclusion

  • Google continues to grow and dominate the search engine market globally. Do you know the Oxford Dictionary has already recognized “Google” as a verb? Yes, that’s true and that says a lot about its popularity.

 

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