What and who is ‘Google’?
I’m sure you all know who and what Google is, a powerful online search engine offering the most highly relevant search results for any given search term. Founded in 1998 by Larry Page & Sergey Brin, Google fast become the only place for people to search. ‘Google’ was a project put together by its founders whilst they were PHD students at Stanford University. It’s believed, together they own around 16% of the overall shares. Rapid growth saw a chain of large acquisitions in the name of Gmail (Google’s email platform) Google + (Google’s very own social media platform) & Google Drive (Office suite). The corporation, believed to run around one million servers in data centres around the world with an estimated one billion search requests. In 2013 Alexa listed Google as the most visited website in the world.
A brief history of Google
Originally nicknamed ‘Backrub’ because the system that Larry & Sergey had produced used back links to determine an importance of a site. The name was changed to ‘Google’ originating from the name ‘googoll’ – the number one followed by one hundred zeros, which was chosen to signify that the search engine was intended to provide large quantities of information. In May 2011 the number of monthly searches performed had hit an all time high of over 1 billion search requests, that’s more then an 8% increase from the previous year. All this from the heart of a garage at a friends home in California.
How Google began to grow
Well in March 1999, Google relocated it’s office’s to Palo Alto, California. The following year Larry & Sergey opted towards integrating an ‘advertising funded’ platform within it’s search results, and Google Adwords was born. Keywords were sold purely based upon price bids and click through rates, with bidding starting at just five cents per click. In July 2001 Google launched ‘Google Images’, offering users access to 250 million images.
December 2002 saw the launch of ‘Froogle’ (which become ‘Google Shopping’ in 2012, people now have the ability to search for things to buy. March 2004 saw Google once again relocate to their new premises ‘GooglePlex’, in Mountain View with 800+ employees. In September 2004 Google opened it’s first office in the Greater China region, Hong Kong. In October Google acquire Keyhole, a digital mapping company whose technology will later become Google Earth. February 2005 saw Google Maps go live, within 2 months satellite views and directions are added to the product.
In August 2008 Street View becomes available in several cities in Japan and Australia—the first time it’s appeared outside of North America or Europe. In March 2009 Google released Google Voice, which improves the way you use your phone, with features like voicemail transcription. In 2013, Google announced that Voice will be integrated into Google+ Hangouts. In March 2011 the new +1 button (Google +) lets you publicly give something a “thumbs up,” helping your friends and contacts find the best stuff online. February 2012 saw the launch of Chrome on Android, so you can take the same simple, fast and secure web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices. Three months later Google launch Chrome on iOS. In June 2013 Google unveiled their latest Google[x] project: balloon-powered Internet access. We hope Project Loon can become an option for connecting rural, remote and under-served areas, and for crisis response communications. As of May 2013 Google was estimated to be worth $268.44 Billion.
Where will Google be in 10 years?
With Amazon already testing ‘delivery drones’ – It’s scary to think where technology may be in 10 years time. There’s Google Glass – Replacing the modern day spectacles with state of the art lenses capable of taking a photo with a simple ‘take a picture’ command. Google Glass also adds the capability of recording exactly what you see and giving you directions to a chosen destination right before your eyes. Google Glass will also have a translation tool integrated, enabling you to translate anything at anytime. Could it be that in 10 years from now cars are made to drive themselves? Flying broomsticks are not only fiction? Your shopping is automatically re-ordered when your cupboards are low? Who knows..