Google Turns 21 Years Old!

Unlike everyone else, Google is not exactly sure when its birthday is. The company has celebrated its birthdays from dates ranging from September 7 and 8 to September 26. However, Google has been celebrating it most often on the 27th, so we’ll just roll with it and wish it a Happy Birthday!

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The Journey so far
Google was conceived in a garage in 1996 as a research project between Sergei Brin and Larry Page, who were both PhD students at Stanford at the time. The search engines at the time used to show results by counting how many times the keywords appeared on the site. This essentially was a popularity contest between sites and rather inefficient. Page and Brin decided to create a new and improved search engine that analyzed the relationships between sites. A merit-based system, if you will. They named the new engine ‘BackRub’.
By 1998, the algorithm had evolved and gotten better. The company was ready to take birth. The improved algorithm needed a better name. The company decided on ‘Google’. A play on the mathematical term googol, which was 10 raised to the power of 100, to symbolize the vast quantities of information that they wished to provide. The domain name Google was registered on September 1997 and by September ’98, Google was incorporated and officially born. By March ’99, the Headquarters moved to Palo Alto and began its epic rise.
From Theory to Company to Tech Giant
By the turn of the century, Google became the default search engine for Yahoo!, which was one of the most popular sites at the time. Google kept outgrowing its real estate twice as it kept expanding more and more digitally. It finally found its home in Mountain View, California in 2003 and named its HQ Googleplex (10 raised to a googol). 
Google launched Google News in 2003 and by ‘04, they were big enough to launch and IPO and their market capitalization hit $23 billion. Funnily enough, Google also included the phrase “Don’t Be Evil” in its code of conduct during the IPO. This, however, meant that they split with Yahoo! and officially became their competitor.
During this eventful time, they had also started on developing Gmail. By 2006, the word ‘Google’ was added to dictionaries all over the world as the company chased different projects like Gmail and Google Maps. Google had outgrown Yahoo! It was time to pick a bigger fight.
Tough competition
There began the infamous rivalry between Google and Microsoft. Microsoft had launched Bing as its search engine to compete with Google. Gmail took on the defending champion Hotmail while Google Earth took on Windows Live Local and Google Chrome took on Internet Explorer. We all know who won these fights. However, Google didn’t manage to take on Windows in its home turf of Operating Systems.
The two giants were duking their fight not just digitally but even in the courts. Employees were poached, trade secrets were leaked, and many suits were filed. In 2011, however, Google pulled ahead by buying Motorola outright for $12.5 Billion USD. The result of this acquisition was the sole control of many patents, one of which held Android. Orkut started suffering during this time as Facebook began its own rise. 
By 2014, Google had over 70 offices in over 41 countries. After the acquisition of Android and the smartphone market boom, Google had completely outclassed Microsoft. Over the years, Google has absorbed many companies and incorporated them under Google. Some of the most notable ones are YouTube, Motorola, DeepMind Technologies, AdSense, DoubleClick, Picasa and Kaggle. The Company as of 2019 is valued at a whopping $309 Billion USD. 

Other than being a giant billion-dollar company, Google is probably the only 21-year-old nobody can live without.

- Written by Nachiket Bhushan Kondhalkar

- Edited by Maitreyi Mehndiratta

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Google Turns 21 Years Old! Google Turns 21 Years Old! Reviewed by EMN on September 29, 2019 Rating: 5

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