Google celebrates 20th birthday on 27th September, 2018. It’s hard to believe, but Google has just turned 20 years old. Despite the fact that the domain Google.com was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company – September 4, 1998.
For 20 years Google has grown from an independent research project of two Stanford students to one of the most successful companies in the history of mankind, which brought to our lives products that literally changed the way we interact with each other.
Major milestones of Google’s 20-year history happy birthday the corporation of good.
#1. GOOGLE SEARCH
The main product of Google is the search engine, from which everything began. The search engines on the Internet existed before Google, but the company identified among them how it sorted the results. Unlike other search engines that mostly focused on keywords, Google sorted the results by back links, that is, the number of pages associated with the specific content of the web page.
The ancestor of Google search engine without any extra pump was launched on the servers of Stanford University in 1996 under the nondescript name Back-Rub. Two years later, when they saw how accurate and excellent their offspring was, the creators gave him a different name — Google (from the mathematical term “googol”) —and began to look for where to get money for promotion.
#2. THE FIRST DRAWING OF GOOGLE DOODLE
Google Doodle is now the most important aspect of the Google brand. It plays a key role in attracting people’s attention on a daily basis.
In 1998, Google officially existed online, but still thanks to the efforts and means of its creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin. One day in August, the two went to the Burning Man festival, during which obviously they could not pay attention to Google. In order to notify users that Google has temporarily remained orphaned, Page and Bryn put the Burning Man logo for the second “O” in the Google word on the home page. It is officially considered the first Google Doodle, and since then thousands of them have appeared for a variety of reasons – holidays, people, achievements and even Google itself.
#3. FAILURE TO SELL GOOGLE IN FAVOR OF EXCITE
By 1999, Google began to get on its feet thanks to investor-benefactors. However, Paige and Breen decided that it would be good to sell the algorithm and the Google brand to the owners of the already developed search engine, as the results exceeded their expectations.
So Paige and Bryn went with the offer of a deal to one of the leaders among the then Excite search engines, evaluating Google as impressive even at the present time $ 750,000. Unfortunately, Excite did not see the potential of Google and blocked the deal, saying that $ 750,000 is a bust .
The current capitalization of Google is about $ 825 billion.
Probably, this item looks more like an amusing story, rather than a milestone, but it was this event that made Page and Brin think about the fate of Google. Do not happen to him, who knows how everything would turn out.
#4. GOOGLE ADWORDS
As Google became more and more successful, it became clear that it was time to start making real money. And in 2000 Google launched Google AdWords, a service offering a way to promote products and services within Google. At first, the advertisers paid for it an ordinary monthly fee. Obviously, Google AdWords has become for Google a powerful machine for earning. Now the share of AdWords and related promotion tools account for about 86% of the company’s earnings.
October 15, 2002 came the next episode of the series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. In this series, one of the heroines, Willow, asks Buffy: “Have you already googled her?” (“Have you googled her yet?”). It may seem a trifle, but it really was the first time someone used the word Google as a verb in public – on television. Later, using the name Google as a verb brought a number of problems to the company, as the spelling and use of the word went out of its control. There is, for example, an article in The Washington Post, from which it becomes clear how picky Google is to use its registered name for everything that is not related to its registered products.
#5. GOOGLE REFUSES BIDS FROM YAHOO
In 2002, Google already earned about $ 240 million a year. Of course, this is very much, especially for the search algorithm just five years old. But this was not comparable to the then income of Yahoo: the search giant earned about $ 837 million a year. Considering Google as a profitable investment in order to strengthen itself, Yahoo made Page and Bring an offer for $ 3 billion. Page and Bryn did not even consider it, saying that less than 5 billion, to part with their brainchild are not ready. Yahoo did not express enthusiasm for the counter offer. For Google, this was a turning point. From a company that offered itself for less than a million dollars, in just three years it turned into something for which billions have been offering others.
#6. MOVING TO GOOGLEPLEX
As money started flowing, Page and Brin needed to expand their business. The Google team grew and became dispersed across several offices in the San Francisco area, and it took a more centralized location. Google rented a complex of buildings, which is jokingly called the Googleplex (“googolplex”), it remains the headquarters of the company to this day.
A Google employee named Paul Buchwich began secretly developing a mail service, codenamed Caribou. And even many famous Google engineers had no idea what he was doing. And as a result, the development of Buchhite began to be used as an internal mail service Google called Gmail. In 2004, Google released a public beta version of Gmail. Service remained in the beta stage for more than 5 years, until finally it acquired an official status on July 7, 2009. Today Gmail is the most popular mail service in the world and is used by more than 1.4 billion people.
#8. GOOGLE BECOMES A PUBLIC COMPANY
In August 2004, Google became a public company, having undergone a listing procedure on the exchange. She started with $ 85 per share and earned $ 1.9 billion. Today, Google shares are trading at about $ 1,200 per share, while capitalization is $ 825 billion. The purpose of acquiring a public status was to reassure shareholders who are able to seriously influence business. Whatever money machine Google is, it still takes time to develop controversial and ambitious projects.
#9. GOOGLE MAPS
By 2005, Google had already submitted to two major areas: Internet search and e-mail. And the next goal of the company was the market of paid GPS navigation. The weapon for conquest was a small and inconspicuous thing called Google Maps. Using Google Maps, users could get a detailed image from the satellite, street maps, and navigation tips. The Google Earth Companion service allowed people to see the whole world or to scale the image to any desired place. And all this is completely free. Google Maps is one of the most popular applications for smartphones, most of whose owners say that they used it at least once.
Technologies change quickly, but only single products, services or companies were able to move to the market and rebuild them in their image as quickly and fully as Google did. In 1998, Google wandered into the popular “club” of prudish web search engines. Some of them – Northern Lights, Alta Vista, and Yahoo – were recognized leaders. Each had its own approach to indexing a rapidly growing network, with branches and spiders. And each had millions of dedicated users. Without them, many of us would not know how to find anything on the spaces of the world-wide web. Less than a year, the Google site was recognized as one of the best on the Internet. He was praised for his unique ability to produce appropriate results.
In 1999, two years after Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the company, PC Magazine decided that “success shines for her.” By the fifth year, the name Google became a household name and passed into the verb, as I noted in the text, writing “I’m looking, therefore I’m googling.” All the mentioned web search engines for this moment either left the “club” or just headed for the exit, in essence, leaving Google alone. Yes, according to rumors, an interest in buying a young company Microsoft created Bing, a unique search engine project that managed to get 24% of the US search market. Well, for most of the decade. Google systematically crashed other existing search options until it was almost impossible to imagine a search without a company product. But this story is known to all. I’m more interested in everything that we learned from Google’s phenomenal takeoff.
#10. LOT OF INFORMATION
I think that without Google we could truly understand the enormous power and potential of information. While other search engines understood hundreds of millions of pages of information on the Internet, Google saw a different dimension. From the beginning, Google was equally concerned about the content of each page, and the relationship between these pages. The company realized that the text index of information on a web page is only a flat projection of information and the meaning hidden in it. The Google algorithm “studied” the structure of each page and made conclusions based on the formatting of the page. For example, if a web developer had something at the top of the page, this meant that the information was more important (and should take precedence over the information at the bottom of this page). Google also used the size of the header, often specified through the HTML settings H1, H2 or H3, to display relative importance.
External links for Google also made a big difference in the context of information about the page. The company created its own PageRank algorithm, which analyzed the links to each web page in order to determine its reputation. The more links meant to your page, the more relevant it was, according to Google. The algorithm received a fair amount of criticism. It was used whole-heartedly by everyone who knew how to use search optimization. By 2003, the Google Watch site was created to track Google Search and often criticized how the service “sees” and uses the growing amount of information from the network.
Still, it is worth remembering that our current attitude to information and how it fills the growing AI sector is shaped in part because of how Google perceived the network. Her unique understanding of information is the center of almost all the company’s activities. Over time, the search for the network has shifted to a more powerful contextual graph of knowledge. Looking at it now, I understand that this shift was the moment when the importance of the algorithm exceeded the importance of the information itself.
#11. Alchemy of the Algorithm
Perhaps the application of the gaining algorithms was not so much a necessity, but rather a strategy for Google. The company’s goal is to organize global information and make it universally accessible and useful – maybe it sounded great in 1998, 1999 and 2000, but I’m sure that in a few years it began to frighten people.
Google stopped to treat words on web pages as isolated in a timely manner. PageRank and signals are far advanced by Google, but the modern Internet needed more. Google began to associate words, and with time – and meanings. The company began to apply powerful algorithms to these connections. Of course, early artificial intelligence helped Google to understand the meaning of words and build relationships in real-time.
The way other companies are now working with information, in my opinion, is mostly inspired by the work of Google since its inception. Facebook’s approach to information on its private network (which can still be found through Google) is bound to become Google. Think of “people” as units and of all relationships, the findings of which Facebook receives every day through the information we give. This is not very different from the relationships that we build on the site. Google constantly processes indexes and accurately reflects existing relationships, based on what algorithms and AI can gather bit by bit.