Google is an American technology company specialising in Internet-related services and products.You probably use it every day, I know I do! But how did it start? Where did it come from?
Google was founded in 1998 by 2 men named Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University. Today, they own around 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock.
While conventional search engines at the time ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, Larry and Sergey envisaged a better system that analysed the relationships among websites. They called this new technology PageRank; it determined a website’s relevance by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages, that linked back to the original site. Page and Brin originally named their new search engine “BackRub”, because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site. Eventually, they changed the name to Google, originating from a misspelling of the word “googol“! The domain name for Google was registered on September 15, 1997, and they then incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998.
The first funding for Google was in August 1998 with a contribution of $100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, given before Google was incorporated. At least three other investors invested in 1998: Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, Stanford University computer science professor David Cheriton, and entrepreneur Ram Shriram. Author Ken Auletta claims that each (including Bechtolsheim) invested $250,000. Early in 1999, Brin and Page decided they wanted to sell Google to Excite. They went to Excite CEO George Bell and offered to sell it to him for $1 million. He rejected the offer. Vinod Khosla, one of Excite’s venture capitalists, talked the duo down to $750,000, but Bell still rejected it. We bet he now regrets turning this offer down!
In March 1999, the company moved its offices to California, which is home to several Silicon Valley technology start-ups. The next year, against Page and Brin’s initial opposition toward an advertising-funded search engine, Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords, this was the start of Google AdWords. Then in 2005, The Washington Post reported on a 700 percent increase in third-quarter profit for Google, primarily thanks to large companies shifting their advertising strategies from newspapers, magazines, and television to the Internet. The age of digital marketing was underway and Google was the backbone of this growing trend.
Google celebrated its 15-year anniversary on September 27, 2013, and in 2016 it celebrated its 18th birthday with an animated Doodle shown on web browsers around the world. The company continues to grow year on year and is much loved across the world. Keep up the hard work Google!