Google turns 20: milestones in company history

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It's hard to believe, but Google has just turned 20 years old. Despite the fact that the domain was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company was registered on September 4, 1998, Google itself calls its official birthday September 27, 1998.

Over the past 20 years, Google has grown from an independent research project of two Stanford students to one of the most successful companies in human history, bringing products to our lives that have literally changed the way we interact with each other.

So, 20 major milestones in the 20-year history of Google – happy birthday, corporation of good!

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

Google's main product is the search engine that started it all. Internet search engines existed before Google, but the way it sorted results made the company stand out. Unlike other search engines, which mostly focused on keywords, Google sorted the results by backlinks, that is, the number of pages associated with specific content on a web page.

The ancestor of the search engine Google without much fanfare was launched on the servers of Stanford University in 1996 under the nondescript name BackRub. Two years later, after seeing how accurate and excellent their brainchild was becoming, the creators gave it a different name – Google (from the mathematical term 'googol') – and began to look for where to get hold of funds for promotion.

First Google Doodle drawing

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

In 1998, Google already officially existed on the web, but still thanks to the efforts and funds of its creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin. One day in August, the two went to the Burning Man festival, during which they obviously couldn't pay attention to Google.

To alert users that Google was temporarily derelict, Page and Brin placed the Burning Man logo behind the second 'O' in Google's homepage. This is officially considered the first Google Doodle, and since then there have been thousands of them for a variety of reasons – holidays, people, achievements, and even Google itself.

Google Doodle is now the most important aspect of the Google brand. He plays a key role in getting people's attention on a daily basis.

Failed Google sale to Excite

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

By 1999, Google was starting to get on its feet thanks to investor benefactors. However, Page and Brin decided it would be a good idea to sell Google's algorithm and brand to the owners of an already mature search engine, as the results began to exceed their expectations.

And so Page and Brin went with an offer to one of the leaders among the then search engines Excite, valuing Google at an impressive $ 750,000 even today. Unfortunately, Excite did not see the potential of Google and blocked the deal, saying that $ 750,000 was too much . And in vain!

Google's current capitalization is about $ 825 billion.

It may sound like a funny story rather than a milestone, but it was this event that made Page and Brin ponder the fate of Google. If it hadn't happened, who knows how things would have turned out.

Google AdWords

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

As Google became more successful, it became clear that it was time to start making real money. And so in 2000, Google launched Google AdWords, a service that offered a way to promote products and services within Google. In the beginning, advertisers paid a regular monthly fee for it.

Obviously, Google AdWords has become a powerful earning machine for Google. Nowadays, AdWords and related promotion tools account for approximately 86% of the company's earnings.

The appearance of the verb from the word Google

On October 15, 2002, another episode of the series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' was released. In this episode, one of the heroines, Willow, asks Buffy, 'Have you googled her yet?' ('Have you googled her yet?').

It may sound like a small thing, but this was really the first time someone had used the word Google as a verb in public on TV.

Later, the use of the name Google as a verb caused the company a number of problems, as the spelling and use of the word got out of its control. There is, for example, an article in The Washington Post that makes it clear how picky Google is about using its registered name for anything not related to its registered products.

Google Rejects Yahoo's Purchase Offer

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

In 2002, Google was already making about $ 240 million a year. Of course, this is a lot, especially for a search algorithm only five years old. But this was not comparable to the then Yahoo's income: the search giant earned about $ 837 million a year.

Seeing Google as a profitable investment to strengthen its own, Yahoo made a $ 3 billion offer to Page and Brin.

Page and Brin did not even consider it, saying that for less than 5 billion, they were not ready to part with their brainchild. Yahoo was not enthusiastic about the counter offer.

This was a turning point for Google. From a company that offered itself for less than a million dollars, it has turned into something for which billions of others are offering – in just three years.

Moving to Googleplex

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

As the money began to flow, Page and Brin needed to expand their business. The Google team grew and found themselves scattered across several offices in the San Francisco area, requiring a more centralized location.

Google rented a complex of buildings, which is jokingly called the Googleplex, which remains the company's headquarters to this day.


Google turns 20: milestones in company history

A Google employee named Paul Buhheit began secretly developing a mail service codenamed Caribou. And even many famous Google engineers had no idea what he was doing.

As a result, Buchheit's development began to be used as an internal Google mail service called Gmail. In 2004 Google released a public beta of Gmail. The service remained in beta stage for over 5 years until it finally became official on July 7, 2009.

Today Gmail is the most popular email service in the world and is used by more than 1.4 billion people.

Google goes public

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

In August 2004, Google went public after being listed on the exchange. It started at $ 85 per share and raised $ 1.9 billion.

Today, Google shares are trading at about $ 1200 per share, and the market cap is $ 825 billion.

The goal of acquiring public status was to reassure shareholders who have the potential to seriously influence the conduct of business. Whatever Google's money machine, it still takes time to develop controversial and ambitious projects.

Google Maps launch

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

By 2005, Google had already conquered two major areas: Internet search and email. And the next target of the company was the paid GPS navigation market. The weapon of conquest was a small and inconspicuous thing called Google Maps.

Using Google Maps, users were able to get detailed satellite imagery, street maps, and navigation tips. Google Earth's companion service allowed people to see the whole world or scale an image to wherever they wanted. And it's all completely free.

Google Maps is one of the most popular smartphone apps, with most owners saying they have used it at least once.

To be continued…

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Google turns 20: milestones in company history

Based on materials from

In the first part of the material, Google took the first steps and conquered the market … And now we have to remember several more important milestones on its way.

Google buys YouTube

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

In 2004, a small development team wanted to create a site where people could easily share various video content. They named their website YouTube, and after a few years it began to gain 8 million views a day., /

And in 2006, Google acquired YouTube for $ 1.65 billion, paying with its shares. Despite the fact that Google had already bought many companies before, this was its largest acquisition. And it certainly came true. YouTube is now the second most visited website on the Internet, ahead of it only – who do you think? – Google. And in May 2017, Morgan Stanley valued YouTube at about $ 160 billion – about 100 times what Google paid for it. /

The emergence of Google Docs

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

In 2005 and 2006, Google bought two small companies. One of them created a web-based word processor, and the other created a web-based tool for creating and sharing spreadsheets.

And in the summer of 2006, Google released programs for a limited number of users, which were distributed on a first-come-first basis. Then they became available to everyone under the name Google Docs. Now Google Docs is a completely working and completely free replacement for other document services, such as Microsoft Office, and thanks to its close integration with Google Drive, it has even more capabilities.

Release of the first device on Android

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

In 2003, a small development team created an OS Android with the intention of integrating it into digital cameras. In 2005, Google acquired it for a rumored $ 50 million and began using the program on mobile phones.

In 2008, the release of the device HTC Dream brought Android to the forefront of the mobile world. And in just a few years, this operating system has become the most popular in the world.

Obviously, this is the most important event in Google history for us, but it is also one of the most significant products in Google's arsenal, objectively. At $ 50 million Android, it is the most rewarding acquisition the company has ever made. And in the years to come, it will continue to help strengthen Google's position and dominance in the world.

Google releases its own browser Google Chrome

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

September 2008 turned out to be hot for Google. It was marked not only by the launch of the first device on Android, but also by the fact that Google introduced the browser that was destined to lead the world: Google Chrome.

In the beginning, the main feature of Chrome that set it apart from the competition was Omnibar, which combined the address bar and search bar into one. A simple interface, constant updates and innovative features that followed have made Chrome an indispensable product and standard for browsers.

When Chrome was launched, Google was ten years old, and its capitalization was about $ 150 billion.

Over a billion Google searches per day

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

In 2009 Google became the dominant search engine with a 65% market share in the US. Around the same time, another major event in the company's history happened: the number of searches reached a billion a day.

Google currently processes about 40,000 searches every second, or about 3.5 billion a day. This translates into 1.2 trillion requests per year.

Google launches Nexus One

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

In January 2010, Google released the Nexus One, a smartphone created in collaboration with the company HTC. The device went to Android 2.1 Eclair and later received Android 2.2 Froyo first.

The Nexus One was Google's first attempt at launching a smartphone under its own brand, and the Nexus series lasted until the Nexus 6P created Huawei in 2015.

The Nexus series was closed after the Nexus 6P and Google's focus shifted to the Pixel series of smartphones. But the “iron” ambitions of the company were first embodied in the Nexus.

Android Market turns to Google Play

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

When Android appeared on HTC Dream in 2008, users were downloading apps to their smartphones from Android Market. Android evolved, and Google's presence on smartphones expanded, so it became obvious that the word Android in the name of an online store introduces too many restrictions.

And so four years later, in 2012, Google merged Android Market with two other products, Google Music and Google eBookstore. What happened became Google Play. The service now integrates almost all forms of electronic media content, including games, movies, TV, applications, music, press, news, and more. In 2017 alone, Google Play brought Google over $ 20 billion in revenue.

Google Glass ahead of its time

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

Google Glass Kiosk at Google I / O 2013

In 2012, Google hit the front pages with its ambitious projects, one of which was a self-propelled car, work on it spun off into a separate company called Waymo.

But none of these projects has attracted as much attention as Google Glass, a wearable display that slides over the head like glasses. Announced by Google at the Google I / O 2012 conference, Glass immediately began to be called the device of the future.

However, many people did not like such a future, and safety became the biggest concern. Looking at the product from the standpoint of today, it is easy to understand that then Glass was too much even for Google. But even though the company was ahead of its time, it was a significant step for it, quite in the spirit of its desire to constantly develop technology.

Alphabet Inc. is born.

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

Three years after the release of Google Glass, the company went through a restructuring. And from that point on, a new company called Alphabet began to play a parental role in relation to Google, and other ambitious projects existed separately along with Google under its wing.

This restructuring changed little for the end user. But it helped to reassure shareholders who had different views on Google's spending on projects out of market realities after the problems around Google Glass.

The restructuring was followed by the change of the logo to the one we see now.

Ok, google

Google turns 20: milestones in company history

In 2016, another important event happened. Google launched its Google Assistant artificial intelligence program and included it in its Google Home line of smart speakers, as well as the new Google Pixel smartphone.

By using the 'Ok Google' passphrase, users could activate the Assistant to make it answer simple questions or take simple actions. And so the search algorithm Paige and Brin created at Stanford in 1998 has acquired a name and a voice (and even a body, if you can think of it as a smart speaker body).

The next twenty years

It doesn't seem like Google is going to stop there. Most likely, she will live happily for the next twenty years and even retain the leadership position she holds today. What important milestones do you think await her in the future? Or maybe we forgot to include something important from her past history on the list? Write in the comments, and again – happy birthday, Google!

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