Google Turns 20: How an Internet Search Engine Reshaped The World


No technology company is arguably more responsible for shaping the modern internet, and modern life, than Google. The exact date of the company’s founding is up for debate – even for those who are in the business of providing answers.

The company that started as a novel search engine now manages eight products with more than 1 billion users each. On September 4th, Google turned 20 years old, marking one of the most staggeringly influential runs for any corporation in history.

Many of those people use Google software to search the repository of human knowledge, communicate, perform work, consume media, and maneuver the endlessly vast internet. Google Inc. was incorporated on September 4. Google is now part of Alphabet, our parent company created in 2015. Google today has tens of thousands of employees and offices in nearly 60 countries.

Under the leadership of Sundar Pichai and riding on Search engine and YouTube growth, Google’s revenue jumped 26% to $23.3 billion in the second quarter in 2018. As the company marks its 20th birthday this month, it will spend some time looking back on what it has accomplished in the past two decades, starting with the 10th birthday of Chrome. Traffic acquisition costs, a key metric in Google’s ad business.

Initially known as BackRub, Google began as a research project of Larry Page, who enrolled in Stanford’s computer science graduate program in 1995. There, he met fellow CS student Sergey Brin. The two stayed in touch as Page began looking into the behavior of linking on the World Wide Web. Together with Brin’s math expertise, the duo created the PageRank algorithm, named after Larry, to rank the search results based on linking behavior. The two technologies formed the foundation for the world’s most powerful search engine of its time

“We’re still pushing the boundaries of available technologies, particularly Artificial Intelligence. And we’re still dedicated first and foremost to the user, to building products for everyone,” said Google.

Google’s reach and influence in today’s world is so categorically unparalleled in modern business that it’s understandable that the company has faced a number of legal challenges over the years related to privacy and anti-competitive practices. Google likely has many more legal challenges ahead as it continues to grow far beyond the Stanford research project it started as 20 years ago.