Google-how a search engine reshaped the world

Google’s achievement can be inferred from the fact that it upgraded its name from being a proper noun to a verb, as “to google” means to search something online. The idea started in the minds of two Stanford University students and came along to become a trillion dollar company that reshaped the modern life, modern internet or simply the world. This multinational internet company provides not only services to search online and advertising but also digital products. Among the others like Bing, Yahoo! , Ask etc. in the search engines list, Google remains at the top.

So let’s see how it became such a tech-giant and changed the ways of the world:

The birth and christening of Google:   

Google started as a research project of the Stanford University’s computer science student Larry Page in 1995 and was initially known as BackRub. Page started looking into linking it to the World Wide Web and with Sergey Brin’s math expertise, who was a fellow CS student, they created the PageRank algorithm, to rank the search based on linking behaviour. This formed the foundation of the world’s best internet search engine of its time, which was launched on Stanford’s private network in August 1996.  

Page and Brin then renamed their company to “Google” as it is a play on the word “googol” –the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeroes –a reference to the huge amount of data available online.

The subjugation of the universe filled with information:

The first and the foremost goal of Google were to create a search engine which can sort the plethora of information available online into something that people can easily surf through. Rather than employing editors for this task they created algorithms that can sort the contents based on certain criteria. This included the keyword search and page titles and inbound links from trusted sources.

Using these strategies Google helped and still helps its users in providing relevant information. Because it started young and kept getting better and better, so it became the go-to search engine for the internet in a few years.

Initial fundings:

The first funding for Google as a company was done in August 1998 in the form of a $100,000 contribution from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, given to a corporation which did not yet exist.

On June 7, 1999, a round of equity funding totaling $25 million was announced, the major investors being rival venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital. As Page and Brin were not ready to lose their control over Google so they declined the offer.

After the closing of the $25 million financing round, Sequoia Capital encouraged Brin and Page to hire a CEO. The duo finally hired Eric Schimdt as Google's first CEO in March 2001.

In October 2003, while discussing possible initial public offerings of shares (IPO), Microsoft approached the company about a possible partnership. The deal never materialized. In January 2004, Google announced the hiring of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group to arrange an IPO. The IPO was projected to raise as much as $4 billion.

Google's initial public offering took place on August 19, 2004. A total of 19,605,052 shares were offered at a price of $85 per share. Of that, 14,142,135 were floated by Google and 5,462,917 by selling stockholders. The sale raised $1.67 billion, and gave Google a market capitalization of more than $23 billion.

There were concerns that Google's IPO would lead to changes in company culture. Reasons ranged from shareholder pressure for employee benefit reductions to the fact that many company executives would become instant paper millionaires. As a reply to this concern, co-founders Brin and Page promised in a report to potential investors that the IPO would not change the company's culture.

The company was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol GOOG. When Alphabet was created as Google's parent company, it retained Google's stock price history and ticker symbol.

The making of a tech-giant:

Primarily, Google was not earning any profit even after being the best search engine in the market. So after some years, Google started monetizing its search by introducing Google Adwords. With growing profits because of Adwords, Google started planning to include more services to its already existing search engine network. It started grabbing certain applications that would increase its ad-driven revenue like Youtube in 2006, Google maps in 2005, Blogger in 2003 and Google Finance in 2006.

It also created some applications which were not originally intended to be monetized by ads. These included Google Books that offered books online with no role of ads. Similar ad experience is present on Google Movies. Gmail started out ad free, but its newer versions gave the user options of free with ads or paid without ads.

Different search engines offer different facilities but the ones Google provide is compared to no other.  

Creativity on the internet and beyond:

Google continues its growth not only on the online front but also on the offline arena by creating Google products like wearable tech, driverless cars, smart phones and others. It appealed to its users continuously over the past two decades because of its new innovative methods that would make their tasks easy. Now it has various features which include image searching, video search engine, and others that make it stand out of other popular search engines. Being on the first position among the top search engines, it has renewed itself a number of times to suit its users and their interests. For instance, the Google Assistant has numerously helped people in getting an easy approach to their phone and its applications.

 Google now has grown past its motive of money-making and it no longer has to rely on revenue as its primary concern. The search web is expanding but till now no other new search engine is able to beat Google to be at the top.

Frequently Asked Questions

Google started nearly two decades ago and due to other reasons it stays at the top. But it is plausible to say that it will remain so. In the future there may come another search engine that will be in its place.