Earlier this week, the company celebrated its 11th birthday and choose to mark the occasion with an all new Google Doodle, a fun take on their colorful identity. The unique logo illustrated Google's eleven years in operation by adding an extra L to the company's name to form a number eleven.
Google's actual founding date is subject to debate. There are those who think that Google should bring out the cake on the September 4, the day in 1998 that Google filed its incorporation papers and officially became Google, Inc. Still others think that Google should recognize September 15, 1997 as its founding date, as that is when Google registered the google.com domain. But despite the debate, Google has celebrated its anniversary on September 27 for the past few years now, making the date somewhat official.
Any birthday offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past, so just what has Google been up to in the last eleven years?
Early Days: 1998
With 1997 behind them, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin dropped the original BackRub moniker in favor of Google, a play on the mathematical term "googol". With the Google.com domain registered and a healthy $100,000 investment from Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, the two Stanford students rented out a $1,700 a month garage space in California's Menlo Park.
With a makeshift office in place, Google made it official and filed for incorporation as "Google Technology Inc" on September 4, 1998. As the rest of year played out, Google began to receive positive support in the press, and the company also hired their first employee, Craig Silverstein.
Money And Moving: 1999
Thanks to its growing workforce, the fledgling company moved twice in 1999. Google outgrew its modest garage and relocated briefly to a more suitable location in Palo Alto. In June, the company released its very first press release, detailing how the firm had secured $25 million of funding.
During the second half of the year, as the company reached forty employees, Google moved once again to offices in Mountain View, with an in-house chef included. T
Growth & Expansion: 2000
2000 was a year of growth, as along with the search engine reaching a milestone of one billion pages indexed, the website also expanded to support over fifteen languages including Chinese, French, German, Japanese and more.
Before the year was out Google also found time to launch the immensely successful AdWords program, and their Toolbar browser plug-in. With the year drawing to a close it was pretty clear that the search engine was on a meteoric rise, as Google was now handling nearly 100 million search queries a day.
Going Global: 2001
With the search engine now available in over twenty-five languages, it only seemed right that the company would expand on a global level with the opening of its first international office in Tokyo.
With the Google search index approaching three billion webpages, it seemed the perfect time to tackle a new type of search: Images. Google launched its Image Search service in July, and initially had an index of over 250 million images.
Getting Geeky: 2002
2002 saw Google launch a range of new products, including the shopping tool Froogle, the experimental Google Labs, and the popular Google News service, a product of the company's so-called "twenty percent time". Geeky Google also decided to offer a Klingon translation of the site for all those Star Trek fans out there, bringing the total number of supports languages to over seventy. Spiderman, Warcraft 3 and pop star Shakira were amongst the most common search terms of the year.
The Written Word: 2003
In December the controversial Google Print was launched: Now known as Google Book Search, the service allows users to view excerpts from thousands of books in digital form. Classic books and their film adaptations, such as Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter, were some of the most searched for terms on Google in 2003.
Email, Google Style: 2004
Without a doubt 2004 biggest Google news was the introduction of Gmail.
2004 also saw Google move to its Mountain View, California "Googleplex" headquarters, where the company still resides today. In addition, Google opened a research and development center in Tokyo and a European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. With over three thousand employees, a range or products under its belt and over eight billion items in its search index Google's growth continued to amaze.
Mapping The World: 2005
In 2005, Google's ongoing effort to organize the world's information continued as
Oh, and could you imagine naming your newborn baby "Google"? It happened.
A Message From Chad & Steve: 2006
Ending months of speculation, in late 2006 Google finally revealed that they had bought online video site YouTube in a massive $1.65 billion stock transaction.
The Growth Continues: 2007
The year started with Google expanding into new territories once again, with Google Maps making its way to Australia and the Google Docs suite of tools being made available in several additional languages. Gmail was also made available to all, no longer requiring an invitation.
Popular search terms in 2007 included the iPhone, Facebook and Second Life. Since Google acquired YouTube in 2006, the popular video site has grown into an outright juggernaut: Even the Queen of England has her own YouTube channel.
Going Full Circle: 2008
Last year Google celebrated their tenth year in operation, and showed no signs of slowing down. The company released its first iPhone application, expanded Street View's coverage to include a number of additional countries, revealed a new version of its Picasa photo management app, and launched Knol, a Wikipedia-type service.
Later in the year, Google's foray into software continued as the first ever cell phone to use Android, Google's open-source mobile OS, hit the scene.
Google At Present: 2009
2009 has been a busy year so far for Google, and it isn't over yet. So far Google has added offline access to Gmail, introduced its Latitude location service, taken you to Mars with a new version of Google Earth, and re-launched the GrandCentral phone service as Google Voice, to name but a few things.
The biggest news from Google this year came when the firm announced that it plans to release an operating system. Google Chrome OS is expected to land next year, and will initially be aimed at low end devices such as netbooks. Several hints at what the OS could look like have leaked online, but Google have yet to comment on any supposed screenshots.
What Does The Future Hold?
With eleven years behind them, Google is still innovating and tweaking. What we can expect next from the search giant is anyone's guess, but in the immediate future we can look forward to taking Chrome OS for a spin, trying out new versions of Android, and watching countless videos on YouTube.