Google celebrates 25th birthday: from dorm to web dominance

i24NEWS and agencies

7 min read
FILE - The Google logo is displayed at their offices in London, UK.
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)FILE - The Google logo is displayed at their offices in London, UK.

To celebrate its 25th birthday, Google has adorned its homepage with a colorful Doodle showcasing the evolution of its logo throughout the years

It's been more than 25 years since two Stanford University students brainstormed an idea in their dorm room, giving birth to BackRub, a search engine aimed at organizing and ranking web pages. 

That dorm room project evolved into Google, one of the world's most influential and valuable companies today.

Google's co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are now among the richest individuals globally, and their company's products, from Gmail to its iconic search engine, are used by billions worldwide.

Video poster

To celebrate its 25th birthday, Google has adorned its homepage with a colorful Doodle showcasing the evolution of its logo throughout the years.

The journey from a dorm room project to a tech giant started in the late 1990s when Page and Brin, then doctoral students at Stanford's computer science program, developed Google. The project grew from their dorms to their first office in a Menlo Park garage on September 27, 1998, which Google purchased in 2006.

Although Google has seen remarkable changes over the last quarter-century, its mission has remained constant: "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

Here are some key milestones in Google's history:

1995-1996: Page and Brin meet at Stanford University and create a search engine named BackRub.

1998: The startup, now renamed Google, gets $100,000 in funding from Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim.

1999: Google announces $25 million in funding from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins in its very first press release, and officially announces the term "Googlers" to the world.

Justin Sullivan (Getty/AFP/File)
Justin Sullivan (Getty/AFP/File)Although Yahoo is one of the best-known names on the Internet and is used by around one billion people, it has fallen behind Google in Internet searches and has been steadily losing ground in online advertising

June 2000: Google becomes the default search engine provider for Yahoo, one of the most popular websites at the time.

October 2000: Launches AdWords, the online advertising platform that would become core to Google's business.

2001: Eric Schmidt is named Google's chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors.

April 2004: Google announces it is testing the release of Gmail, with up to 1GB of storage capacity.

August 2004: Launches initial public offering of roughly 19.6 million shares, at an opening price of $85 per share.

February 2005: Launches Google Maps for desktop.

Google Maps
Google MapsGoogle Maps

August 2005: Acquires mobile startup Android. Launches Google Talk instant messaging service.

2006: Buys online video service YouTube for $1.65 billion.

May 2007: Introduces universal search that lets users access search results across all content types, like images, videos and news, at once.

September 2008: Debuts first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1 or HTC Dream. Launches Google Chrome web browser.

Samantha Sin (AFP/File)
Samantha Sin (AFP/File)YouTube

January 2010: Launches smartphone, Nexus One, co-developed with HTC.

March 2010: Stops censoring search results in China, leading to its banning in the country.

October 2010: Google tests out its first self-driving vehicles with a small fleet of Toyota Prius cars in California.

August 2011: Announces acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which includes Motorola's cellphone and TV set-top box businesses, for $12.5 billion.

2012: Launches Google Glass.

Waze logo
Waze logoThe Israeli crowdsourced navigation startup Waze was acquired by Google for over $1 billion

2013: Announces acquisition of Israeli mapping startup Waze for about $1 billion.

2014: Announces in January that it will acquire AI firm DeepMind. In the same month, announces a $3.2 billion deal to buy smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker Nest Labs.

NICOLAS ASFOURI (AFP/File)Google still accounted for the vast majority of revenues for its parent company Alphabet

2015: Announces plans to create a new publicly listed company, Alphabet, which will house Google and other units, including YouTube and research and venture capital businesses.

October 2016: Launches the first Pixel smartphone.

June 2017: The European Commission fines Google 2.42 billion euros for violating the neutrality of its search.

February 2018: Google reports full-year sales of over $100 billion a year for the first time.

December 2019: Co-founders Page and Brin announce they are stepping down as CEO and president, respectively; Pichai becomes CEO of Alphabet.

JOHN MACDOUGALL (AFP/File)Silicon Valley legend has it Google founders Sergey Brin (L) and Larry Page offered to sell the company early on for a million dollars or so, but no deal came together

2020: Alphabet hits $1 trillion in market capitalization.

January 2023: The company cuts 12,000 jobs, or 6 percent of its workforce.

February 2023: Google announces Bard, a generative AI-powered chatbot that can produce text content and fetch information off the internet. However, a factual error in the AI tool's demo tanks. Alphabet shares, erasing $100 billion from the company's market capitalization.

Susan Wojcicki, one of Google's first employees, steps down as YouTube CEO; Neal Mohan replaces her.

March 2023: Begins rolling out Bard to some users.

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