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Happy Birth Day Google! Google's Eventful Ten Years

Google logoOn September 7th 2008, the largest search engine in the world, Google celebrates its tenth anniversary. It was on this day in 1998, that Google was founded in a meager garage in Menlo Park, California. Google has the most fascinating history for a company in our age. It started off as the brainchild of two Stanford University students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, in 1996. They were making a research project about rating web pages according to their importance.

Google’s name comes from the word Googol, which represents the number, one followed by hundred zeros. After registering the company as Google, Inc. in 1997, the founders, Brin and Page, set up the company in a garage belonging to a friend on September 7, 1998. It was in Menlo Park in California bay area. Later Google moved to Amphitheater Parkway office in Mountain View and it became the headquarters.

Google Timeline

Sept 7, 1998: Founded in Menlo Park, California in a garage, belonging to the friend of Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Eric Shmidt, Sergey Brin, Larry Page
Google CEO, Eric Shmidt, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page (left to right)

Sept 21, 1998: Google’s first employee, Craig Silverstein is hired. He is now the director of technology at Google.

February 9, 1999: Opens an office at Paulo Alto at University Avenue. Google was answering half a million queries by that time daily.

June 7, 1999: Google gets a funding of USD 25 million.

September 21, 1999: Google goes out of Beta and their office in Menlo Park is shifted to Googleplex in Mountain View. Now Google is answering 3 million searches daily.


May 2000: Google is awarded the Webby award and People’s Voice award for the best technical achievement.

June 26, 2000: Google and Yahoo announced their partnership (Google becomes Yahoo’s search provider!). Now Google is answering about 18 million queries a day. Later that year, Google announced the Google Toolbar. By the end of 2000, Google started to answer more than 100 million search queries daily.

October 23, 2000: Google’s advertisement platform, Google Adwords comes alive.

February 2001: Google acquires and integrates volumes of data in Usenet groups to a searchable format.

July 19, 2001: ‘Don’t be evil’ becomes the motto of Google. However, this motto is used several times against Google now.

August 2001: Dr Eric Shmidt, who was the CEO of Novell Inc., and CTO of Sun Microsystems, joins Google as CEO. He is still the chairman and CEO of Google Inc.

October 2001: With partnership with Lycos group, Google becomes default search engine for Asian Internet users. Soon enough, Google becomes Latin American search provider with partnership with Universo Online (UOL).

Summer 2001: Saw Google indexing 250 million images to a searchable index. Also launched Google catalog search for the online shopping.

December 2001: Google now indexes 3 billion Internet documents in a searchable form.

February 2002: Google Search Appliance is launched, in order to search through e-commerce sites, private networks, and intranets.

February 2002: 2001 Search Engine Watch awards is announced, and Google is Outstanding Search Service, Best Image Search Engine, Best Design, Most Webmaster Friendly Search Engine, and Best Search Feature.

February 2002: Adwords incorporates CPC campaigns (cost per click).

May 2002: AOL calls Google ‘the reigning champ of online search’ and uses it to provide search service to millions of its members.

September 2002: Google News Service starts off in Beta, offering news from nearly 5000 online sources.

December 2002: Froogle, the Google product search service is launched. Now almost a forgotten feature of all-inclusive Google.

February 2003: Google acquires Pyra Labs, the then owner of Blogger, the popular blogging platform. Though Google owns Blogger now, it is still retaining its separate domain and logos.

April 2003: Google acquired Applied Semantics, which would later revolutionize the lives of thousands of Internet entrepreneurs in the form of Google Adsense.

Fall 2003:
Google Deskbar, which is used for desktop search is launched through Google Toolbar. This feature is also almost forgotten now.

2004: Google is announced as the ‘Brand of the Year’ by Brandchannel.

January 2004: Orkut, Google’s social network is born as the brainchild of Orkut Buyukkokten, an employee of Google. The social network is not popular in the US. Most of its members are confined to Brazil and India.

February 17, 2004: Google’s search index crosses 6 billion items (4.28 billion web pages, 880 million images, 845 million Usenet discussions, and a number of book-related info pages).

2004: Google Local search is announced.

April 1, 2004: The currently most popular email service, GMail is announced. It was launched with a Gigabyte of free storage space (and now growing at 7GB). And it made several email providers like Yahoo, MSN, and rediff increase their storage space to stay alive in mail service.

April 29, 2004: Google’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) is filed with the SEC (the Securities and Exchange Commission).

June 13, 2004: Acquisition of Picasa Inc., which is a digital photo management service online, which was initially a standalone software. Picasa web albums is used now in picture hosting for Blogger.

August 18, 2004: Google goes public with a market of $23 billion. In three years, a whopping growth per share from $85 to $741 was seen.

2004: Also saw Code Jam, an event targeting the best and brightest computer programmers out there.

October 14, 2004: The first version of Google desktop search is released.

October 2004: Google SMS is launched. Also, in October, Google announced record revenues of 805.9 million USD. It also announced a book search platform, Google Print.

October end 2004: Google acquires Keyhole Corp., another digital picture management group like Picasa. This helps provide 3D images of earth, which later becomes Google Earth’s backbone.

December 2004: Google Groups, the new version of Usenet groups is launched.

2005: Sees Google Mini, which takes root from Google Search Appliance. Also, Google Store, Google Maps, Google Web Accelerator, and Google Videos are launched.

March 2005: Acquires San Francisco based firm, Urchin Software, specializing in Web Analytics. This would later become Google Analytics. The first JavaScript tracker was named ‘urchin.js’ now it is renewed to ‘ga.js’ for Google Analytics.

May 2005: Adsense for Feeds is first announced, with approval only for a few top feed publishers.

June 28, 2005: The acquisition of Keyhole Corp we saw earlier led to the most innovative application from Google, Google Earth, which gives us closest satellite pictures of the Earth and its features.

August 2005: Sees the launch of Google Talk and Google Desktop.

September 2005: By the middle of September, Google announces blog search, which searches not only Blogger blogs but every blog on the planet.

October 2005: Google Reader, which is a popular feed reading application is launched.

November 2005: Google Base is launched. It helps people to upload content in a searchable structured format. It’s now almost forgotten. By the same time, Google announces Google Analytics, an innovative web analytics platform, Google Analytics, which takes birth from Urchin Software, which we saw Google acquired earlier. Now, it is the most popular web analytics platform.

Fall 2005: Also saw Google Book search, which was the new name of Google Print.

End of 2005: Saw Google innovating again with music search.

Start of 2006: Google video store comes alive. And so does Google Video Player. It is a standalone software player for web based videos.

Later we also saw Google Pack, a number of applications for improved browsing.

Jan 2006: Google launches their standalone server in China, tapping Chinese population’s Internet search volume.

Jan 2006: Also saw a successful Google court battle. The Justice Department made a demand to unveil Google’s records at the concern of people’s privacy. However, this incident seeded serious paranoia among the public.

February 2006:, the philanthropic pathway of Google conglomeration, is launched, with Dr Larry Brilliant as the director.

Google Chat is incorporated to GMail.

May 2006:
Google’s tools to improve search experience, Co-op, Desktop trends, and Notebook are launched. Co-op later becomes Google Custom Search and gets incorporated to Adsense.

June 2006: Google Checkout, the new Google shopping feature was introduced. It is slowly becoming popular.

June 15, 2006: Oxford English Dictionary recognizes the term 'Google'.

August 8, 2006: Social network, Myspace and Google make agreement to provide Google search facility and advertisement on Myspace. This deal was for 900 million dollars.

August 9, 2006: Google Book Search partnered with University of California, University of Virginia, and University of Wisconsin, to digitize several thousands of books, and to provide free downloads of public domain books in PDF form.

August 2006: Saw Google launching the largest free WiFi network in the US around Mountain View, California.

October 9, 2006: Google announces acquisition of YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars. But YouTube still retains its logo, just like Blogger. In fact, most of the people don’t know that YouTube is now Google property.

2006: Also saw Google’s partnership with eBay, Adobe for toolbar distribution, and Dell to install search software on Dell computers. This move prompted Microsoft to partner with HP to install Live Search on HP computers as the default.

January 2007: Fortune Magazine calls Google ‘the Best company to work for’.

February 2007: GMail is open to everyone. Until then, it was a free service through invitation.

March 13, 2007: Viacom sues Google accusing that Google allows video piracy through YouTube. Later a compromise was done, with Google handing over the data to Viacom keeping the user information anonymous.

April 13, 2007: Google announces acquisition of DoubleClick Performics for 3 billion USD, which would later pave way to Google Affiliate Program.

February 28, 2008: New Google venture, Google Health is announced by Marissa Mayer, VP of search and user products in Google.

June 12, 2008: Yahoo agrees on Google ads on its search engine. A significant move for Google in the search engine warfront.

September 1, 2008: Google announces its browser venture, Google Chrome, a lightweight, open-source browser running on Java.


Google is in the path of innovation every moment of its existence. We can definitely see more from them in the coming days. Perhaps the fun within Google went well with the public. Google is a company that loves itself, and so we love it. Their yearly April Fool pranks themselves are unique for them: like Google Gulp (a free Google drink), GMail Paper (Google printing mail messages on environmentally-friendly paper and sending it free to our home address), Google Wakeup Kit (a calendar notification item), Google dialect translation, Google Manpower Search (in which Google employs people of China to search manually), Adsense for Conversations, etc.

Happy Birthday! Google

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008


  1. Sort of makes the other search engines look pretty sad. I've tried others, but have always gone back to Google.

    I find the local version quite interesting, but I still have fun with the regular one as well.

  2. What a wonderful and amazing journey and this makes of netizens life more comfortable .

    Nice coverage and good post.


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