Happy Birthday Google: 20 Years of Google

Happy Birthday Google: 20 Years of Google

As someone has been using computers for the past 20+ years, I feel like I have a unique connection with Google. I remember using it for the first time and thinking, “This isn’t going to replace anything. Internet Explorer and Netscape are just too user friendly and have better search results.” How wrong was I? Let’s take a brief look back at some major moments.

In 1996, the roots of what would become Google was launched on Stanford University’s network by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Started as a research project by Page and with Brin’s math expertise, the duo created an algorithm called PageRank, which was the most powerful search engine at the time. In 1998, Google filed paperwork to incorporate and become a real company. The following 20 years have been seemingly one big technological win after another.

Becoming More Than Just A Search Engine

In 2004, after getting a good grasp on the search engine lead, Google launched Gmail. Initially, they offered 1GB of free storage to the public. In comparison, Microsoft at the time offered about 25mb of storage with its free Hotmail service. Also in 2004, the company went public. Their IPO put their value at 27 billion dollars.

In 2005, Google launched its MAPS software. At the time, it was more like a line by line set of directions. In 2009, they rolled out the GPS-style turn-by-turn directions that we’re now used to.

They would not stop there. Its growth was becoming unprecedented and they began buying up other companies. In 2006, they purchased Youtube for 1.65 billion dollars. Looking back, they may have gotten a bargain!

2008 continued their trend of making big news when they launched the their browser, Chrome. Now the most used browser in the world, Chrome made a splash immediately and has been on a steady incline ever since. 2008 continued to be an eventful year and the first Google devices running Android launched.

These are some of the big ones, but to think, it has only been 20 years. Google is working on self-driving cars that will definitely be a topic another 20 years from now on their 40th birthday. For now, there are no signs of slowing down as they continue to be a juggernaut in all avenues of technology.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)