Google celebrated its 25th anniversary this week, marking a significant milestone for the search giant. It’s hard to imagine what life was like before Google, as it has become synonymous with internet search. Despite the rise of AI technology, Google remains the go-to platform for looking up information online. Over the years, Google has overcome numerous challenges and rivals to become one of the world’s most well-known brands. Here are 25 key moments that have shaped Google’s journey:
1. Launch day (1998): Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two computer whizzes from Stanford University, started Google as a search tool to better organize websites on the internet. They received an initial investment of $100,000 and set up their first office in a garage.
2. Here comes the money train (2000): Google’s rapid growth began when it launched AdWords, allowing advertisers to purchase search terms. This move turned Google into one of the richest companies in the world.
3. Beyond words (2001): Google added images to its search results, driven by demand for pictures of Jennifer Lopez’s Grammy Awards dress.
4. From email to Gmail (2004): Google introduced Gmail, a free web email client that now has over 1.8 billion users. Google Autocomplete was also launched, revolutionizing search queries.
5. Getting around (2005): Google introduced Google Maps and Google Earth, changing how we navigate both the web and the real world.
6. Android joins the family (2005): Google acquired Android for $50 million, paving the way for its dominance in the non-Apple mobile phone market.
7. And so does YouTube (2006): Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion, creating a platform that revolutionized the creator economy.
8. The great firewall of China (2006): Google launched a censored search engine in China but ultimately shut it down due to criticism.
9. I’m a real word! (2006): “Google” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary as a verb, reflecting its influence on internet searches.
10. The streets won’t forget (2007): Google launched Street View, capturing images of the world’s roads.
11. Chrome is where the heart is (2008): Google launched the Chrome browser, becoming a preferred option for many users.
12. Google’s first smartphone (2010): Google released the Nexus phone, offering a pure Android experience.
13. Chrome’s not alone (2011): Google began developing the Chrome OS, which became the backbone of Chromebook laptops.
14. The launch of the Play Store (2012): Google’s answer to the App Store opened, generating billions in revenue.
15. Remember Google Glass? (2012): Google Glass, its wearable augmented reality technology, failed to gain traction.
16. In at the deep end (2014): Google acquired DeepMind to boost its AI capabilities.
17. A new look (2015): Google rebranded and introduced a new logo across its products.
18. Pixel perfect (2016): Google launched its own line of smartphones, the Pixel, replacing the Nexus brand.
19. Waymo (2016): Google’s driverless car project became Waymo, aiming to bring autonomous vehicles to the mainstream.
20. EU inflicts record fine (2017): Google faced regulatory challenges, including a record-breaking fine from the EU.
These moments, among others, have shaped Google into the tech giant it is today.