Google was founded on September 4, 1998, by founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. While they were small in the beginning, it didn’t take long for Google to carve itself out a reputation in a world that was then dominated by AOL, Netscape, and Yahoo. Who knew the little search engine named after an improbably huge mathematical number would eventually become an absolute juggernaut in the search engine field?
Although this started out as a research project by a couple of Stanford Ph.D. students, it didn’t take long for things to take off. From the very beginning, Google made a good impression with the public idea that they wanted to make the world’s information as accessible as possible, and the famous Google motto was: “Do no harm.” The combination of a positive logo, great marketing, and creating a frankly superior search engine led to rapid and explosive growth.
2004 was the year that Google had their first public offering of stock. The stock opened at $85 a share and shot up, never looking back. Every year it has been one of the most popular stock options out there ever since.
More Than Just A Search Engine
Google is much more than a search engine. They have expanded into email, Google spreadsheets and documents, data storage, and a variety of other online services. Their main income comes through the most famous of all Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising services: Google AdWords. The combination of offering direct advertising as well as allowing an affiliate model with Google AdSense led to a massive income stream – and as more and more traffic racked up for what became the world’s number on search engine, more profits would follow.
2001 was the year Google received their patent for PageRank, one of the earliest tools that allowed individuals to get an idea of how trusted or how much authority a website would have. PageRank would be one of the most trusted indicators for almost a decade before being replaced by more advanced metrics, and being discontinued altogether in April of 2016.
2004 saw the acquisition of Keyhole, a company whose technologies and imaging allowed for the ultra detailed Google Maps that we all enjoy today.
2006 saw one of the largest buyouts in history when Google spent $1.6 billion to buy YouTube, a site that remains the largest video market search engine to this day.
October 31, 2007, was the first date that Google stock hit $350 a share, and they recently announced having over one million servers online to make sure their website was always up and functioning at full capacity no matter what the traffic.
In recent years Google has diversified, looking at molding technology and innovation with fields like health, wellness, and robotics to see how far options can be pushed and to help encourage further growth and help in many fields.
It’s hard to predict where Google will go next, but easy to predict they will be an innovator as they get there and they’ll certainly be keeping it interesting for our resident SEO consultant!