Google at 20: Here are 6 Things You Need to Know About the Tech Giant

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Global tech company and search engine giant, Google, is celebrating its 20th year anniversary. It is simply fascinating that in just 2 decades, the company has become a key player in the revolution of the modern Internet.

From its search engine, which has become so entwined into our daily lives, there’s now a synonym for ‘search’ (you hear people say –just ‘Google’ it). For each of its products, Google has continued to progress, exerting itself as not only a leader in the search engine industry (having an answer to most, if not all the questions in the world) but also in digital advertising, software, and hardware.

So to mark its 20th birthday, here are 6 facts you need to know about the tech giant.

  • Initially a university project, Google was started by two nerds (it’s founders) Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University in 1996, when they came up with a way to with a way to efficiently rank and search the internet. The company started out with the name “Backrub” because of its initial heavy reliance on back-links to validate the popularity of a website it was indexing.

  • The name ‘Google’ is actually a misspelling of the mathematical term ‘googol’ which is basically 1 with a 100 zeros following it and it was officially launched in September 1998 in a garage in Menlo Park, California, with its first funding, $100,000, from investor Andy Bechtolsheim.

  • In 1999, Google tried selling itself to Excite (the then number 2 search engine behind Yahoo), for $1m but was turned down by the online company’s CEO George Bell. It also reportedly tried selling itself to the then search engine Altavista and Yahoo in 1998 to no avail. 3 years later, in 2002, Yahoo offered $3 billion for the company which was rejected.

  • By the end of it’s first decade of existence, Google had established itself as the leading search engine. And today, Google accounts nearly 90 per cent of all internet search requests processing over 3.5 billion search queries each day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.
  • When it launched in 1998, the most valuable company in the world then at over $260 billion on the NYSE was Microsoft. Today, according to Forbes Magazine, Alphabet (Google) is the 2nd most valuable company at at $852 billion, behind Apple Inc. and ahead of Microsoft. Its shares are now traded at $1,231 compared to the opening price of $85 when it went public in 2004.

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