Google turns 15 – A quick look at its milestones

google15World’s favourite search engine turns 15 today. But since its inception, it has constantly been offering the world different technological innovations. From being on the cusp of revolutionizing transportation with its driver-less cars to delivering internet to millions by simply putting balloons in the atmosphere – Google has never missed a chance to make the front page in news publications, worldwide.

On its anniversary today, we take you back in time and share with you a timeline of a few of the company’s achievements since its foundation.

1998  

In just one year of its operations, Google was reported by PC Magazine to have “an uncanny knack for returning extremely relevant results” and recognized it as the search engine of choice in the Top 100 Web Sites for the year 1998.

Click here to see what Google results used to look like back then.

1999

Google raised funding, around $25 million round from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins. Moreover, the news turned out to be the company’s first ever press release. This was enough for Google to move to its first Mountain View location and hire the company’s First chef.

2000

The first 10 language versions of Google.com were released for users speaking French, German, Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish, Bringing its total number of supported languages to 15 in September, with the addition of Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Today the search is available in 150+ languages.

2001

Google launched ‘Google Images’ with 250 million images initially which grew to 1 billion in the year 2005. The numbers further raised and reached 10 billion images by 2010.

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2002

Launched ‘Google News’, with 4,000 news sources. Today Google News includes 50,000+ news sources, with 70 regional editions in different languages. The well known Google Shopping (which earlier was known as Froogle) was also launched in the same year.

2003

Announced ‘Google AdSense’, a new content-targeted advertising service that enables publishers large and small to access Google’s vast network of advertisers.

2004

Gmail was launched. Initially the registration was on an invite basis only and today it boasts more than 425 million users. Moreover the company introduced the biggest social network of that time – Orkut, which eventually got beaten up by its rival Facebook.

2005

Introduced Google maps for web platforms, which were later that year launched with a mobile phone interface in US, offering driving directions and local information to the people on the go.

2006

The company acquired YouTube, making it one of the biggest acquisitions of the year in the online world. Moreover, Google search became such a popular term in itself that The Oxford English Dictionary added the word “Google” (as a verb) in its catalog.

2007

Announced Android – the first open platform for mobile devices—and a collaboration with other companies in the Open Handset Alliance. However, the first ever phone built with the Android operating system (G1) was released by T-Mobile after almost 1 year.

2008

Hosted the first ever Google I/O, its annual developer conference, in San Francisco. I/O has since grown as a meetup event for a thousands of developers from across the globe.

2009

Developed Google Chrome OS, an open source, lightweight operating system initially targeted for laptops which later was rolled out with Mac and Linux. And hey, did we forget to mention that this was the year when Google also rented some goats from a local company to clear the bush and reduce fire hazard in the fields near its Mountain View headquarters, as the goats helped the company to trim the grass – the low carbon way.

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2010

Started developing a technology for cars that can drive themselves and help prevent traffic accidents in addition to freeing up people’s time to do other things while commuting.

2011

Added another company – ‘Motorola’ to its already hefty empire. This purchase marked Google’s most expensive acquisition to-date at a staggering $12.5 billion. With its purchase of Motorola Mobility, one of the well known mobile hardware manufacturer for Android, Google planned “to supercharge the Android ecosystem.” And by the way, Google has made around 130 M&As since its inception.

2012

Android Market becomes ‘Google Play’. Enough said !

2013

Google launched Google Glass and gave the world a new term to talk about – ‘Wearable Technology’. Hey! Did we forget to mention Google Fiber – one of the most anticipated and ‘wicked fast’ Internet and television technology provided by Google which was launched in 2010 and was recently covered by us.

And today it announced its new Hummingbird Algorithm which was launched last month, to improve the search results for long user queries.

In all these years, Google has not only grown as a company, but has also become a part and parcel of everyone’s life. We look forward to Google’s future innovations.

Happy Anniversary Google!!

To contact author, email devesh@wirefootindia.com

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