Google is one of the most recognized names, and brand, in the world. It is an internet company. It is so popular that even people who do not have the internet still know the name Google. There is a huge interest, if not fascination, with this company. The purpose of this article is to present a brief overview of the history of Google.
Google is a internet website. It’s primary purpose is to function as a search engine. In simple terms, Google is a website that locates other websites. This is accomplished by the information someone types into a search box. Everyday millions of people around the world search for all types of information on the internet. This is primary reason why Google is so popular, and well known. There are other companies that provide the same type of search engine service. But Google remains the most popular, by far.
The company we now know as Google began in 1996. It started as a college school project by two Standford students name
Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Their original ideal was to be able to locate, display, and rank, other websites by popularity. That popularity would be determined by how many times a website was mentioned on the internet by other websites who had a link pointing back to it. The search engine they created was named BackRub.
It was truly a college project that was run at the university. However, after about a year Sergey and Larry were notified that their project was taking up too much of Stanford’s internet bandwidth and resources. So in 1997 the two relocated to other servers and renamed the search engine Google. The name is actually a play on the word Googol. Googol is a mathematical term for 1 plus one hundred zeros (1,000,0… 0). The theory behind them choosing the name was their mission to bring organization to the infinite amount of information on the internet.
Larry and Sergey actually struggle, and needed to overcome rejection, during their initial efforts to move beyond a college project. They were not the first. There were already some search engines out there. But, the two partners objective was to create much better search, that returned much more accurate results. However, investors did not see their vision or the potential value. And, it did not help that this was right around the same time when a lot of internet start up companies were failing and losing money.
But there was one investor. Andy Bechtolsheim, the co-creator of Sun Microsystems, saw the value and potential for what Larry and Sergey had created. He wrote them a check for $100,000. Success continued to follow after that. They incorporated under the name Google and began hiring employees.
In 1998 the highly respected industry publication PC Magazine essentially put them on the map with their glowing review. The magazine went on to name Google as one of the Top 100 websites of 1998. Here is an excerpt:
“The 25 million pages currently cataloged seem to be good choices. The site has uncanny knack for returning extremely relevant results. There’s much more to come from Google, but even in its prototype form it’s a great search engine.”
The following year they struck a deal with Sequoia Capital for $25 million dollars and never looked back.
2000, the year of the brand new century was very good for Google. They partnered with Yahoo to become it’s default search provider. Also, later in that year Google started selling advertisements. The ideal being that more, and more, people were using Google and highly relevant, and targeted ads, would be placed right in from of them. The advertiser would only pay when someone actually clicked to view their ad. This became Google AdSense and Google AdWords. It immediately generated millions in revenue for Google and has only grown since then.
In 2003 the company relocated their operation to a large, acre estate, facility in Mountainview, California that they nicknamed GooglePlex. They are still based there today.
The following year, Google launched their, web-based, free email service. It was named Gmail. By now Google was growing accustom to success and Gmail was another one. It was an instant hit. The objective was to compete with the free online email services like Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. This did this by offering 1 GB of email storage. This was significantly much more than the competition. Nearly 10 times more. It shook up the entire free email industry.
Later in that same year of 2004 they launched Google Earth. To say this was also another success would be an understatement. No one had ever seen a free service like this before. It utilzed satellite imagery to create a map of the earth. It allowed anyone to type in a search for any place in the world. Then it automatically takes them to that to part of the world, and that exact location. Google Earth even allows the user to zoom in to the street level. You can now sit at your computer and literally visit anyplace in the world.
In 2006 Google added video to it’s search options. Users could now not just search for other websites, but specifically for video results. They could search for anything from homemade videos, music video, TV shows, etc. Probably not a coincidence, Google purchased YouTube that same year.
Also that year Google was officially added to the Dictionary as a word. It was now correct, and proper, English to say “I Googled it” Since then the company has introduce many other services like tools specifically design to help people who create their own websites, a social network alternative to Facebook, and others.
Google is much more now than just a search engine. However, the main core of their business remains their search engine.
Google is the dominant choice for the search market. It is the most used search engine on the internet. At the time this article was created the statistics are approximately 65% of internet users go to Google for their searches. Bing and Yahoo consistently jockey back and forth for 2nd place. But regardless they are all not even close. Bing 17%, Yahoo 13%, Ask 4%, and AOL approximately 2%.
Now you know why people who create websites are only interested, many would say obsessed, with getting listed and ranked on Google.
It is estimated that Google receives about a billion search requests per day. What is even more mind-boggling is that it’s also estimated that Google averages about 12 cents in profit for every search perform!
A billion per day x 12 cents = not bad for two guys in a college dorm room.