Happy Birthday Google
Google’s 10th Birthday
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin meet at Stanford. (Larry, 24, a U Michigan grad, is considering the school; Sergey, 23, is assigned to show him around.) According to some accounts, they disagree about most everything during this first meeting.
- Larry and Sergey, now Stanford computer science grad students, begin collaborating on a search engine called BackRub.
- BackRub operates on Stanford servers for more than a year — eventually taking up too much bandwidth to suit the university.
- Larry and Sergey decide that the BackRub search engine needs a new name. After some brainstorming, they go with Google — a play on the word “googol,” a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros. The use of the term reflects their mission to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.
- Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim writes a check for $100,000 to an entity that doesn’t exist yet: a company called Google Inc.
- Google sets up workspace in Susan Wojcicki’s garage at 232 Santa Margarita, Menlo Park.
- Google files for incorporation in California on September 4. Shortly thereafter, Larry and Sergey open a bank account in the newly-established company’s name and deposit Andy Bechtolsheim’s check.
- Larry and Sergey hire Craig Silverstein as their first employee; he’s a fellow computer science grad student at Stanford.
- “PC Magazine” reports that Google “has an uncanny knack for returning extremely relevant results” and recognizes us as the search engine of choice in the Top 100 Web Sites for 1998.
- We outgrow our garage office and move to new digs at 165 University Avenue in Palo Alto with just 8 employees.
- Omid Kordestani joins to run sales — the first non-engineering hire.
- Our first press release announces a $25 million round from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins; John Doerr and Michael Moritz join the board. The release quotes Moritz describing “Googlers” as “people who use Google.”
- We move to our first Mountain View location: 2400 E. Bayshore. Mountain View is a few miles south of Stanford University, and north of the older towns of Silicon Valley: Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose.
- Charlie Ayers joins as Google’s first chef. He wins the job in a cook-off judged by the company’s 40 employees. Previous claim to fame: catering for the Grateful Dead.
- On April Fool’s Day, we announce the MentalPlex: Google’s ability to read your mind as you visualize the search results you want. Thus begins our annual foray in the Silicon Valley tradition of April 1 hoaxes.
- The first 10 language versions of Google.com are released: French, German, Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish.
- We win our first Webby Awards: Technical Achievement (voted by judges) and Peoples’ Voice (voted by users).
- We forge a partnership with Yahoo! to become their default search provider.
- We announce the first billion-URL index and therefore Google becomes the world’s largest search engine.
- We start offering search in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, bringing our total number of supported languages to 15.
- Google AdWords launches with 350 customers. The self-service ad program promises online activation with a credit card, keyword targeting and performance feedback.
- Google Toolbar is released. It’s a browser plug-in that makes it possible to search without visiting the Google homepage.
- We announce the hire of Silicon Valley veteran Wayne Rosing as our first VP of engineering operations.
- Our first public acquisition: Deja.com’s Usenet Discussion Service, an archive of 500 million Usenet discussions dating back to 1995. We add search and browse features and launch it as Google Groups.
- Eric Schmidt is named chairman of the board of directors.
- Google.com is available in 26 languages.
- Swedish Chef becomes a language preference.
- Image Search launches, offering access to 250 million images.
- We open our first international office, in Tokyo.
- Eric Schmidt becomes our CEO. Larry and Sergey are named presidents of products and technology, respectively.
- A new partnership with Universo Online (UOL) makes Google the major search service for millions of Latin Americans.
- Keeping track: Our index size grows to 3 billion web documents.
- Klingon becomes one of 72 language interfaces.
- The first Google hardware is released: it’s a yellow box called the Google Search Appliance that businesses can plug into their computer network to enable search capabilities for their own documents.
- We release a major overhaul for AdWords, including new cost-per-click pricing.
- For April Fool’s Day, we announce that pigeons power our search results.
- We release a set of APIs, enabling developers to query more than 2 billion Web documents and program in their favorite environment, including Java, Perl and Visual Studio.
- We announce a major partnership with AOL to offer Google search and sponsored links to 34 million customers using CompuServe, Netscape and AOL.com.
- We release Google Labs for users to try out beta technologies fresh from our R&D team.
- We open our first Australian office in Sydney.
- American Dialect Society members vote “google” the “most useful” Word of the Year for 2002.
- We announce a new content-targeted advertising service, enabling publishers large and small to access Google’s vast network of advertisers. (Weeks later, on April 23, we acquired Applied Semantics, whose technology bolsters the service named AdSense.)
- We launch Google Grants, our in-kind advertising program for nonprofit organizations to run in-kind ad campaigns for their cause.
- Registration opens for programmers to compete for cash prizes and recognition at our first-ever Code Jam. Coders can work in Java, C++, C# or VB.NET.
- We launch Google Print (which later becomes Google Book Search), indexing small excerpts from books to appear in search results.
- Larry Page is inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.
- Our search index hits a new milestone: 6 billion items, including 4.28 billion web pages and 880 million images.
- We move to our new “Googleplex” at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View, giving 800+ employees a campus environment.
- We formalize our enterprise unit with the hire of Dave Girouard as general manager; reporters begin reporting in April about our vision for the enterprise search business.
- We introduce Google Local, offering relevant neighborhood business listings, maps, and directions. (Later, Local is combined with Google Maps.)
- For April Fool’s we announce plans to open the Googlunaplex, a new research facility on the Moon.
- We announce the first winners of the Google Anita Borg Scholarship, awarded to outstanding women studying computer science. Today these scholarships are open to students in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe.
- Our Initial Public Offering of 19,605,052 shares of Class A common stock takes place on Wall Street on August 18. Opening price: $85 per share.
- There are more than 100 Google domains (Norway and Kenya are #102 and #103). The list has since grown to more than 150.
- We formally open our office in Dublin, Ireland, with 150 multilingual Googlers, a visit from Sergey and Larry, and recognition from the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, Mary Harney.
- Google SMS (short message service) launches; send your text search queries to GOOGL or 466453 on your mobile device.
- Larry and Sergey are named Fellows by the Marconi Society, which recognizes “lasting scientific contributions to human progress in the field of communications science and the Internet.”
- We spotlight our new engineering offices in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India with a visit from Sergey and Larry.
- Google Desktop Search is introduced: users can now search for files and documents stored on their own hard drive using Google technology.
- We launch the beta version of Google Scholar, a free service that helps users search scholarly literature such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports.
- We acquire Keyhole, a digital mapping company whose technology will later become Google Earth.
- Our index of web pages reaches 8 billion.
- We open our Tokyo R&D (research & development) center to attract the best and brightest among Japanese and other Asian engineers.
- The Google Print Program (since renamed Google Book Search) expands through digital scanning partnerships with the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, University of Michigan, and Oxford plus the New York Public Library.
- We launch code.google.com, a new place for developer-oriented resources, including all of our APIs.
- Some 14,000 programmers from six countries compete for cash prizes and recognition at our first coding competition in India, with top scores going to Ardian Kristanto Poernomo of Singapore.
- We acquire Urchin, a web analytics company whose technology is used to create Google Analytics.
- Our first Google Maps release in Europe is geared to U.K. users.
- For April Fool’s, we announce a magical beverage that makes its imbibers more intelligent, and therefore better capable of properly using search results.
- Google Maps now features satellite views and directions.
- Google Local goes mobile, and includes SMS driving directions.
- My Search History launches in Labs, allowing users to view all the web pages they’ve visited and Google searches they’ve made over time.
- We release Site Targeting, an AdWords feature giving advertisers the ability to better target their ads to specific content sites.
- We release Blogger Mobile, enabling bloggers to use their mobile phones to post and send photos to their blogs.
- Google Scholar adds support for institutional access: searchers can now locate journal articles within their own libraries.
- Personalized Homepage (now iGoogle ) is designed for people to customize their own Google homepage with content modules they choose.
- We hold our first Summer of Code, a 3-month $2 million program that aims to help computer science students contribute to open source software development.
- Google Mobile Web Search is released, specially formulated for viewing search results on mobile phones.
- We unveil Google Earth: a satellite imagery-based mapping service combining 3D buildings and terrain with mapping capabilities and Google search.
- We release Personalized Search in Labs: over time, your (opt-in) search history will closely reflect your interests.
- API for Maps released; developers can embed Google Maps on many kinds of mapping services and sites.
- Google scores well in the U.S. government’s 2005 machine translation evaluation. (We’ve done so in subsequent years as well.)
- We launch Google Talk, a downloadable Windows application that enables Gmail users to talk or IM with friends quickly and easily talk using a computer microphone and speaker (no phone required) for free.
- Overlays in Google Earth illuminate the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina around New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Some rescue teams use these tools to locate stranded victims.
- DARPA veteran Vint Cerf joins Google to carry on his quest for a global open Internet.
- Dr. Kai-Fu Lee begins work at our new Research and Development Center in China.
- Google Blog Search goes live; it’s the way to find current and relevant blog postings on particular topics throughout the enormous blogosphere.
- Feed aficionados rejoice as Google Reader, a feed reader, is introduced at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.
- Googlers volunteer to produce the first Mountain View book event with Malcolm Gladwell, author of “Blink” and “The Tipping Point.” Since then, the Authors@Google program has hosted more than 480 authors in 12 offices across the U.S., Europe and India.
- We release Google Analytics, formerly known as Urchin, for measuring the impact of websites and marketing campaigns.
- We announce the opening of our first offices in São Paulo and Mexico City.
- Google Transit launches in Labs. People in the Portland, Oregon metro area can now plan their trips on public transportation at one site.
- Gmail for mobile launches in the United States.
- Our first Code Jam in China concludes in Beijing. The winner, graduate student Chuan Xu, is one of more than 13,000 registrants.
- We announce the acquisition of dMarc, a digital radio advertising company.
- Google.cn, a local domain version of Google, goes live in China.
- We introduce Picasa in 25 more languages, including Polish, Thai and Vietnamese.
- We release Chat in Gmail, using the instant messaging tools from Google Talk.
- Eric Schmidt is inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.
- Dr. Larry Brilliant becomes the executive director of Google.org, our philanthropic arm.
- Google News for mobile launches.
- We announce the acquisition of Writely, a web-based word processing application that subsequently becomes the basis for Google Docs.
- A team working from Mountain View, Bangalore and New York collaborates to create Google Finance, our approach to an improved search experience for financial information.
- For April Fool’s we unveil a new product, Google Romance: “Dating is a search problem.”
- We launch Google Calendar, complete with sharing and group features.
- We release Maps for France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
- We announce Picasa Web Albums, allowing Picasa users to upload and share their photos online
- The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) adds “Google” as a verb.
- Gmail, Google News and iGoogle become available on mobile phones in eight more languages besides English: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Chinese and Turkish.
- Gmail launches in Arabic and Hebrew, bringing the number of interfaces up to 40.
- At Google Code Jam Europe, nearly 10,000 programmers from 31 countries compete at Google Dublin for the top prizes; Tomasz Czajka from Poland wins the final round.
- We launch free citywide WiFi in Mountain View.
- More than 100 libraries on 10 campuses of the University of California join the Google Books Library Project.
- Star Trek’s 40th Anniversary Convention in Las Vegas features a Google booth showcasing tools appropriate for intergalactic use.
- Apps for Your Domain, a suite of applications designed for organizations of all sizes, and including including Gmail and Calendar, is released.
- Google Book Search begins offering free PDF downloads of books in the public domain.
- We add an archive search to Google News, with more than 200 years of historical articles.
- Featured Content for Google Earth includes overlays from the UN Environmental Program, Discovery Networks, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the National Park Service.
- The University Complutense of Madrid becomes the first Spanish-language library to join the Google Books Library Project.
- Together with LitCam and UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning, we launch the Literacy Project, offering resources for teachers, literacy groups and anyone interested in reading promotion.
- We announce our acquisition of YouTube.
- We release web-based applications Docs & Spreadsheets: Word processor Docs is a reworking of Writely (acquired in March).
- We acquire JotSpot, a collaborative wiki platform, which later becomes Google Sites.
- The first nationwide Doodle 4 Google contest in the U.K. takes place with the theme My Britain. More than 15,000 kids in Britain enter, and 13-year old Katherine Chisnall is chosen to have her doodle displayed on www.google.co.uk. There have been Doodle 4 Google contests in several other years and countries since.
- We announce a partnership with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile telecom carrier, to provide mobile and Internet search services in China.
- We release Google Maps in Australia, complete with local business results and mobile capability.
- Google Docs & Spreadsheets is available in eleven more languages: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Polish, Dutch, Portuguese (Brazil) and Russian.
- For Valentine’s Day, we open up Gmail to everyone. (Previously, it was available by invitation only).
- Google Apps Premier Edition launches, bringing cloud computing to businesses.
- The Candidates@Google series kicks off with Senator Hillary Clinton, the first of several 2008 Presidential candidates, including Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, to visit the Googleplex.
- We introduce traffic information to Google Maps for more than 30 cities around the US.
- Our first Latin American software coding contest ends with Fábio Dias Moreira of Brazil taking the grand prize. He scored more points than 5,000 other programmers from all over the continent.
- We sign partnerships to give free access to Google Apps for Education to 70,000 university students in Kenya and Rwanda.
- This April Fool’s Day is extra busy: not only do we introduce the Gmail Paper Archive and TiSP (Toilet Internet Service Provider) — we lose (and find) a real snake in our New York office!
- We add eight more languages to Blogger, bringing the total to 19.
- In partnership with the Growing Connection, we plant a vegetable garden in the middle of the Googleplex, the output of which is incorporated into our café offerings.
- We move into permanent space in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Governor Jennifer Granholm helps us celebrate. The office is an AdWords support site.
- At our Searchology event, we announce new strides taken towards universal search. Now video, news, books, image and local results are all integrated together in one search result.
- Google Hot Trends launches, listing the current 100 most active queries, showing what people are searching for at the moment.
- Street View debuts in Google Maps in five U.S. cities: New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, and Denver.
- On Developer Day, we announce Google Gears (now known just as Gears), an open source technology for creating offline web applications.
- Google Maps gets prime placement on the original Apple iPhone.
- YouTube becomes available in nine more domains: Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Ireland and the U.K.
- We announce a partnership with Salesforce.com, combining that company’s on-demand CRM applications with AdWords.
- We unveil several “green” initiatives: RechargeIT, aimed at accelerating the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the completion of our installation of solar panels at the Googleplex, in Mountain View, and our intention to be completely carbon-neutral by the end of 2007. We also announce the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, in collaboration with Intel, Dell, and more than 30 other companies.
- Google Earth Outreach is introduced, designed to help nonprofit organizations use Google Earth to advocate their causes.
- We announce the acquisition of Postini.
- The first CNN/YouTube debate takes place between the eight U.S. Democratic Presidential candidates. (The Republicans get their turn in November 2007.)
- Google Finance becomes available for non-U.S. markets for the first time, in Canada.
- Google Apps is now available in 28 languages.
- We ask users for their interpretation of how Gmail travels around the world, and get more than 1,100 video responses from more than 65 different countries.
- To infinity and beyond! Sky launches inside Google Earth, including layers for constellation information and virtual tours of galaxies.
- AdSense for Mobile is introduced, giving sites optimized for mobile browsers the ability to host the same ads as standard websites.
- Together with the X PRIZE Foundation we announce the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon for a $30 million prize purse.
- We add Presently, a new application for making slide presentations, to Google Docs.
- Google Reader becomes available in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, English (U.K.), Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Japanese and Korean.
- We partner with IBM on a supercomputing initiative so that students can learn to work at Internet scale on computing challenges.
- We announce OpenSocial, a set of common APIs for developers to build applications for social networks.
- Android, the first open platform for mobile devices, and a collaboration with other companies in the Open Handset Alliance, is announced. Soon after, we introduce the $10 million Android Developer Challenge.
- Google.org announces RE<C, an initiative designed to create electricity from renewable sources that are cheaper than coal. The initial focus is on support for solar thermal power and wind power technologies.
- The Queen of England launches The Royal Channel on YouTube. She is the first monarch to establish a video presence this way.
- Google.org announces five key initiatives: in addition to the previously-announced RE<C and RechargeIT, there is a new dedication to solutions that can predict and prevent crises worldwide, improve public services, and fuel the growth of small enterprises.
- We bid in the 700 MHz spectrum auction to ensure that a more open wireless world becomes available to consumers.
- For people searching in Hebrew, Arabic, or other right-to-left languages, we introduce a feature aimed at making searches easier by detecting the direction of a query.
- Google Sites, a revamp of the acquisition JotSpot, debuts. Sites enables users to create collaborative websites with embedded videos, documents, and calendars.
- We finally complete the acquisition deal for DoubleClick.
- Together with Yahoo and MySpace, we announce the OpenSocial Foundation, an independent non-profit group designed to provide transparency and operational guidelines around the open software tools for social computing.
- We feature 16 April Fool’s jokes from our offices around the world, including the new airline announced with Sir Richard Branson (Virgle), AdSense for Conversations, a Manpower Search (China), and the Google Wake-Up Kit. Bonus foolishness: all viewers linking to YouTube-featured videos are “Rickrolled.”
- A new version of Google Earth launches, incorporating Street View and 12 more languages. At the same time, KML 2.2, which began as the Google Earth file format, is accepted as an official Open Geospacial Consortium standard.
- Google Website Optimizer comes out of beta, expanding from an AdWords-only product. It’s a free website-testing tool with which users can continually test different combinations of their website content (such as images and text), to see which ones yield the most sales, sign-ups, leads or other goals.
- We launch Google Finance China allowing Chinese investors to get stock and mutual fund data as a result of this collaboration between our New York and Shanghai teams.
- We introduce a collection of 70+ new themes (“skins”) for iGoogle, contributed by such artists and designers as Dale Chihuly, Oscar de la Renta, Kwon Ki-Soo and Philippe Starck.
- Following both the Sichuan earthquake in China and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma), Google Earth adds new satellite information for the region(s) to help recovery efforts.
- Reflecting our commitment to searchers worldwide, Google search now supports Unicode 5.1.
- At a developer event, we preview Google FriendConnect, a set of functions and applications enabling website owners to easily make their sites social by adding registration, invitations, members gallery, message posting, and reviews, plus applications built by the OpenSocial developer community.
- With IPv4 addresses (the numbers that computers use to connect to the Internet) running low, Google search becomes available over IPv6, a new IP address space large enough to assign almost three billion networks to every person on the planet. Vint Cerf is a key proponent of broad and immediate adoption of IPv6.
- Google Translate adds 10 more languages (Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian and Swedish), bringing the total to 23.
- We introduce a series of blog posts detailing the many aspects of good search results on the Official Google Blog.
- California 6th grader Grace Moon wins the U.S. 2008 Doodle 4 Google competition for her doodle “Up In The Clouds.”
- Real-time stock quotes go live on Google Finance for the first time.
- A new version of Maps for Mobile debuts, putting Google Transit directions on phones in more than 50 cities worldwide.
- For the first time, Google engineers create the problems for contestants to solve at the 7th Annual Code Jam competition.
- We provide Street View for the entire 2008 Tour de France route — the first launch of Street View imagery in Europe.
- Our first downloadable iPhone app, featuring My Location and word suggestions for quicker mobile searching, debuts with the launch of the Apple 3G iPhone.
- We work with the band Radiohead to make a music video of their song “House of Cards,” using only data, and not cameras.
- Our indexing system for processing links indicates that we now count 1 trillion unique URLs (and the number of individual web pages out there is growing by several billion pages per day).
- Street View is available in several cities in Japan and Australia – the first time it’s appeared outside of North America or Europe.
- Google Suggest feature arrives on Google.com, helping formulate queries, reduce spelling errors, and reduce keystrokes.
- Just in time for the U.S. political conventions, we launch a site dedicated to the 2008 U.S. elections, with news, video and photos as well as tools for teachers and campaigners.
- Word gets out about Chrome a bit ahead of schedule when the comic book that introduces our new open source browser is released earlier than planned on September 1. The browser officially becomes available for worldwide download a day later.
- We get involved with the U.S. political process at the presidential nominating conventions for the Democratic and Republican parties.
- We release an upgrade for Picasa, including new editing tools, a movie maker, and easier syncing with the web. At the same time, Picasa Web Albums is updated with a new feature allowing users to “name tag” people in photos.
- Google News Archive helps to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives.
- Thanks to all of our users, Google celebrates 10 fast-paced years.
And on and on
What’s next from Google? It’s hard to say. We don’t talk much about what lies ahead, because we believe one of our chief competitive advantages is surprise. You can always take a peek at some of the ideas our engineers are currently kicking around by visiting them at Google Labs. Have fun, but be sure to wear your safety goggles.
Google Search Engine Prototype