Google is one of the largest companies that has a presence on the Internet, and chances are, if you’re online, you’ve probably used one of their products or services; you probably even used it to find this article! Beginning with the Google Search, a simple search engine to help you find what you need on the Internet, it has grown into an absolute online giant, showing billions in profits year after year. If you want to get the scoop on Google, and what they’ve been up to for the past twenty years, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we want to give you the entire rundown on Google’s history, and what Google.com has done to become so popular today. We’re going to answer the following questions:
- When is Google’s birthday, and how long has it been around?
- Google’s main achievements over the last 20 years
- Google’s best services you should be using
Read on to have all your Google-related questions answered!
When was Google born?
Google’s birthday is September 27, and it was created in 1998. It’s official founding date is September 4, 1998, and it has many other milestones that could mark its “birthday.” Choosing one specific date is difficult, though because of Google Doodles, 27 September is accepted as its birthday.
In 2018, Google celebrates its twentieth birthday, and we’re sure to see a neat Doodle for that date, and great Doodles year after year to remind us that Google is still alive and well.
20 years of Google’s best achievements
- 1996 – The first ideas
Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Ph. D. students at Stanford University team up to complete their research on indexing the World Wide Web, and so, the seeds of the company begins.
- 1998 – Search engine begins
The company is officially formed in Mountain View, California. The chosen name “Google” is a play on the number “googol,” which is a 1 followed by 100 zeros, which aimed to represent their endeavour to provide the users with infinite search results.
- 2000 – Available languages grow to 15 + Google AdWords
The number of languages Google is available in increases to 15, making it much more accessible around the world. It also launches AdWords, which is still, to the day, a major service businesses use for online marketing, as their ads can be targeted to user search interests, and appear on a service used by millions each day.
- 2001 – First acquisition and Google Images
Acquires it’s first company Deja.com, an online discussion forum. It also started Google Images, which has become an amazing resource for finding great images online – no matter what you’re looking for.
- 2002 – Google APIs, Google News, and Google Shopping
Google APIs (application programming interfaces) allowed third-party users to start integrating Google services with their own products, which helped Google start growing and reaching more and more users than ever before. Many popular websites use Google Search to search within their own website. Also launched Google News, which is still a popular medium for obtaining information about world news.
- 2003 – AdSense and Google Books
Google Books, which started out as “Google Print,” has become an amazing online resource of digitized books that are now available to everyone – for free. Also started AdSense, which is used by many businesses, as it allows businesses to place Google-driven ads on their website, and allows Google to do the work of selecting the best ads based on user interests.
- 2004 – Gmail and Google Earth
Gmail has become an absolute cornerstone of the Google market, and is one of the best email services available on the market. Google Earth also began, though at the time, was called Keyhole, and as many people know, is an extremely useful tool to help learn about the world, and everything on it.
- 2006 – Google acquires YouTube
YouTube, one of the most-used online website with millions of videos added by users, is acquired by Google, which allowed it to be easily integrated with other services, including Google user accounts. “Google” was also added to the Oxford English Dictionary as a verb, which means to search for something on the web!
- 2007 – Streetview and Android
Google Streetview allows you to look at actual images of locations around the world, which Google took pictures of with their special Streetview vehicles. Also launched its Android devices, which are used by millions of people around the globe, and are widely regarded to be some of the best handheld devices available on the market.
- 2008 – Google Chrome
Google Chrome is Google’s own web browser, which has its services built right into it. It holds your user information, makes searching a cinch, and has hundreds of great browser extensions to help you with the things you use yourself, every day.
- 2009 – Google Maps gains navigation capabilities
Google Maps, the great mapping tool, started its navigation feature, which functions as a GPS for users, and can direct you anywhere, by driving, walking, or with public transportation. Also started Google Ventures, an investment company for other great tech-based start-ups.
- 2010 – Driverless cars
This project aims to create (and has since succeeded in creating) cars that can drive themselves, without a human being operating the controls. These cars could revolutionize the way our roads operate!
- 2011 – Google +
Google + is Google’s version of social networking, and connecting online services. Also started Google Wallet in 2011, which aims to help digitize online payment with a peer-to-peer payment service.
- 2012 – Drive and Play
Google Drive and Google Play were launched in 2012 – two key services that many people are currently using. Google Drive allows you to store digital information on Google’s servers, as well as edit and modify documents, and share them with others, all on the cloud. Google Play is the app store provided for Android devices.
Also announced ‘Google Glass’ in 2012, which is a head-mounted optical display in the shape of eyeglasses, which would display information to the wearer similar to a smartphone. They have since moved away from continuing to focus on this product, however.
- 2013 – Hangouts and Chromecast
Google Hangouts, the Internet-based messaging service, that allows voice calls, video calls, screen sharing, and instant messaging, is a very useful tool, still widely used today. Chromecast products are compact digital media control systems that you can sync with your other playback devices.
Android also hits 1 billion device activations in 2013 – making it one of the world’s most popular devices.
- 2016 – Deep Learning AI programs
Began to dabble in AI technology in 2016, which many people believe to be the future of technology. It has since successfully run a few sessions with AI, that have been able to learn and adapt to situations set up by Google programmers.
- 2017 – The world’s most valuable company
Alphabet, Google’s parent company surpasses Apple in value, and is worth over $550 billion dollars. It’s no secret why Google continues to come up with some of the best and most useful ideas, and can hire some of the world’s brightest minds.
Google’s best services you should get on board with
We’re going to assume you already use Google’s search engine, because there’s no questioning that it’s the best option out there. But here are some of the other best services available to you, that we would recommend you start using.
Gmail, as we mentioned above is Google’s email service. Not only is it superior to many other email services due to its spam protection, sorting and organizational integrations, and syncing of calendar and contacts, it also allows you to have a Google account that you can use for other services (such as the ones we mention below. If you want to learn all about what Gmail has to offer you, be sure to check out our free Gmail course.
Google Maps is the best online resource for mapping, for the entire world – for the average users. Not only does it contain standard information including street names, addresses, and navigation, but it also has information about businesses and services including hours of operation, customer ratings, websites they operate, and more.
On Google Drive, you can store information on the cloud, using Google’s reliable servers. With your Gmail account, you can access your free Google Drive, and upload files: documents, images, spreadsheets, video, and anything else you need to keep a copy of. You can also share your folders and files with other users, or even with shareable links on the Internet!
Don’t forget to check out our Google Drive course if you want to learn more about the great perks of using it!
YouTube.com is one of the world’s most popular websites, and contains endless hours of entertainment with video content provided by its users. Many businesses and online personalities take advantage of YouTube as a profit center, as it is a great way to get information out there, especially if what you have to offer is visual, and words just can’t capture it as well as video.
AdWords/AdSense (for business)
Google AdWords is the service offered for businesses and services to advertise on Google product pages. By paying fees, your business is promoted through Google Search, so more people find what you do than ever before.
Google AdSense is the service offered that allows businesses to customize the ads on their websites to the user who is accessing it. These ads are reviewed to ensure they are high-quality, and they are customizable, so you can block things you don’t want to see.
The Android OS run Android devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is one of the most popular devices on the market, and is quite competitive with iOS devices. With Android, you have seamless integration with all of the Google services you use, and can use the intuitive system to navigate through your daily tasks.
Google Chrome is an Internet browser, and is perfectly integrated with Google Search. You can use the address bar to visit any site, or to Google something you’re looking for. You can easily organize your bookmarks, customize the design and layout of your browser, and add browser extensions on to help connect Chrome with other services you use.
And now you know everything about Google! Don’t forget to check out the rest of our site where we have information about other great research tools, and more helpful articles about Google products and services!