The evolution of Google Search 20 years on

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The evolution of Google Search 20 years on

If Google were a person, it still wouldn’t be able to purchase alcohol in America. But at 20 years old, it has changed more than just the internet … it has changed the way we interact with the world and with each other.

Named after a mathematical term ‘Googol’ which is number one followed by 100 zeros, it was originally named ‘Backrub.’Along with Google.com, they also own common misspellings including Googlr.com, Goggle.com and Goooogle.com … specially for all of you sausage fingers.

It may also come as a surprise to some that the very first Google computer storage system was made out of Lego! For those living in China wanting to access Google, Google Mirror made it possible. Of course, everything was back to front, so you have to have some pretty spectacular deciphering skills to use it.

From search engines to smartphones and assistants to live camera translations, Google leads the way with innovative ideas that shape our world. Today we are going to look at the history of Google and unwrap its achievements, its historical landmarks and future in the ever-changing world of tech.

 

The Birth of Google

Google was conceived in 1995 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Page was studying at Stanford University for his Ph.D while Sergey was thinking about studying there. They put their brains together and in 1996 started working on Backrub. For some, back rub is a bizarre choice of name. But for Sergey and Page, it was all about algorithm rankings for the number of backlinks a page had.

As touched upon above, Google plays on the word Googol. The one followed by 100 zeros is rumored to reflect Page’s and Sergey’s desire to put the infinite amount of info available on the web in order. 1998 saw the ‘Google Friends’ newsletter launch.

The same year saw Andy Bechtolsheim; a co-founder of Sun write a $100,000 check to the currently non-existent Google Inc Company. The only problem was that Google Inc wasn’t a legal entity at that time, so the $100,000 gathered dust in the drawer of a desk for a fortnight before the corporation was registered on September 4th 1998.

1999 saw Google move to 165 University Avenue from the garage it was started in. By now, they also had eight employees, which included one of the most important employees, a dog named Yoshka. Yep, Google hired a dog! From here on in, Google was almost sold on for $750,000 before growing into the giant that it is today.

 

The Growth of Google And The Fall of Yahoo

In 1999, Larry and Sergey were thinking about selling Google so that they could focus on studying. They approached George Bell, who was the CEO of Excite and offered him Google for just 1 million dollars. Bell rejected the offer and followed up with an offer of $750,000. The offer was declined and Excite missed out on owning what would become the biggest business in the world.

Fast forward 5 months Sequoia Capital, Byers and Kleiner Perkins Caufield made an agreement to invest 25 million dollars and joined the board of directors. And that board? A ping pong table! Google was well on its way to the top. However, Yahoo was standing in its way.

Throughout the 1990’s, Yahoo dominated the internet and was the number one search engine. Every internet user of the 90s will remember Yahoo answers and Yahoo chat. But it could have been a very different story if Yahoo had purchased Google when it was offered to them instead of turning it down.

The structure of Yahoo was designed to view emails, answer questions and chat. It was what worked best at the time and Yahoo had the mentality of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. They also feared that users would leave their platform and Google was yet again turned away.

Google then went on to develop at words, which lies at the heart of their success to date. Fast forward to 2002 and Google was knocking at Yahoo’s door once again. Looking to raise funds off 3 billion dollars, Yahoo decided to turn them down again. This was down to Yahoo trying to build its own version of Google which involved acquiring inktomi, a search engine and Overture, an Ad Revenue generator.

Unfortunately, Yahoo failed to make any impact and was subsequently absorbed into AOL. It was bye bye Yahoo and hello Google.

 

Google Search Started To Evolve

Today, Google uses predictive search text whenever a user performs a Google search. The origins of predictive search lie in the year 2000 with the deployment of mentalplex. Other turn of the century advancements included multilingualism, Google Doodle, Google Toolbar and Google AdWords.

Google made their first public acquisition in 2001, the Usenet discussion service; Deja.com. 2001 also saw the launch of their office in Tokyo, international domination was well on track. Google Images also made an appearance, along with Klingon language. 2002 was the year that Google really started to develop the search function.

AdWords cost per click pricing was added, along with opening their first Australian office. The following year, Google purchased pyra labs and Google AdSense was born. By 2004, there were 800 employees working for Google and the office moved to the Googleplex in Mountain View. Gmail was launched on April Fool’s Day by invite only. Today, Gmail has more than 420 million Global users. They snapped up Picasa, and Google entered the stock market. There were just under 20 million shares, priced at $85 per share.

 

Google Maps The World… And Beyond

In 2005, Google Maps made its way into the world and became a major selling point for many smartphones and mobile apps. Just a few months later, Google Earth was launched, along with Google Analytics. 2006 was the year that Google was included in the Oxford English Dictionary. 2006 also saw the release of Google Trends, Google Finance and Google Calendar. They also purchased YouTube in the same year.

Things really started to pick up pace in 2008 with the birth of Google Chrome. Chrome rapidly became one of the largest web browsers of all time. The following year saw the release of Google Voice. Google + made its way into the world in 2011, quickly followed by Google Drive in 2012. Google + was launched to take on another internet giant, Facebook. Unfortunately, in October 2018 Google announced that they would be discontinuing access to the platform.

2013 what’s the year that Google decided to integrate online services with Google apps. This provided 30 GB of storage shared between Google Plus, Gmail and drive. Not only had Google conquered the world, it was now heading for the clouds. Search algorithms were updated and in-built machine learning became a reality.

 

A Summary Of Google And Its Search History

  • 1995 The idea of Google is born
  • 1996 Backrub begins development
  • 1997 The name is changed and the Google.com domain is registered
  • 1998 Google is founded officially. First Google Doodle appears
  • 1999 Google moves from its garage to its first office
  • 2000 Google Adwords is launched
  • 2001 Google Image Search enters the world
  • 2002 AdWords launch cost per click pricing
  • 2003 Purchases blogger (Pyra) 13 search languages added.
  • 2004 Announces Gmail and makes first public offerings
  • 2005 Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Analytics are born
  • 2006 Google purchases YouTube. Google trends enters the world.
  • 2008 Android iOS and Google Chrome are released. Most Popular searches of 2008
  • 2009 Google voice is released
  • 2010 Google instant search suggestions released
  • 2011 Google + and Google Panda launched. First site to have 1 billion unique visitors
  • 2012 Knowledge graphs and Google Drive are released
  • 2013 Integrates online services with Google Apps. Google Hummingbird launched
  • 2014 Google redesigns SERP format. Algorithm for local searches changed
  • 2015 Restructures as Alphabet. INC. Google is an umbrella company.
  • 2016 Paid ads changed to green. Non-mobile friendly sites issued warnings
  • 2017 Intrusive Interstitial Penalties for intrusive pop-ups on mobile sites take effect
  • 2018 Google Home Hub is announced

 

See how Google shaped the world in 2017 to see just how integral it is to our lives today. No one can deny that Google search has evolved to become one of the biggest and best known in the world. Working for both businesses and individuals, Google search seamlessly connects the two together. From its early days of limited information, it has grown into a font of knowledge that we all rely on. Without Google search, we couldn’t have Googled the information in this post and it just wouldn’t exist.

The coming years of 2019 and 2020 are going to be exciting in terms of technological advancements. Google, will of course, update its algorithms and confuse everyone about the best SEO options to use. The internet search giant shows no signs of slowing down and in our opinion, that is a great thing. The world without Google search is like fish without chips or bread without butter. It in enriches our lives for the better and makes once impossible tasks achievable.

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