Happy 15th Birthday, Google!
Everyone’s favorite search engine and benevolent overlord turned 15 years old today. Sort of.
Then-Standford-Ph.D-students Larry Page and Sergey Brin had been working on what would become Google as early as January 1996. They registered the domain name on Sept. 15, 1997, and incorporated the company on Sept. 4, 1998. It “was established” on Sept. 7, 1998 according to Search Engine Watch. And almost all of those dates have been celebrated as the company’s birthday at one point or another.
(To make matters more complicated, the same Search Engine Watch article also notes that the site reviewed an functional form of Google as early as August 1998!)
Multiple sources quote a page from Google saying the exact date of the birthday “has moved around over the years, depending on when people feel like having cake,” but the page has since been taken down.
Regardless of exactly when the date is, let’s appreciate the fact that the world runs on- or is run by- a company/service that is essentially a sophomore in high school. Fifteen years ago, the internet took perhaps it’s biggest leap forward since the hyperlink. That first advancement created the web, and Google helped make sense of it all, making searches a far more precise and intuitive process.
In their further pursuits to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” the company has revolutionized e-mail, bought YouTube- and yes, maybe sold out its users privacy while generating massive profits for itself with AdWords.
Still, pretty impressive for a teenager.