25 years of Google dominating the internet
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25 years of Google dominating the internet

Google celebrates its 25th birthday since it began as two students in a dormitory to become the top search engine in the world today

Over 25 years of Google in the past, two Stanford University students engaged in an inspired dormitory discussion, giving rise to a groundbreaking idea. Their vision? To develop an internet search engine capable of efficiently organizing web pages while also implementing a sophisticated ranking system.

Originally named BackRub, this startup underwent a remarkable transformation, blossoming into one of the most esteemed and impactful companies worldwide – Google.

Today, Google’s array of products, such as Gmail and its ubiquitous search engine, have become integral tools for billions of users around the globe. Meanwhile, its visionary co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have ascended to the pinnacle of global wealth, securing their positions among the world’s wealthiest individuals.

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Here are some milestones in the history of the tech giant, whose parent is now known as Alphabet:

1995-1996Page and Brin meet at Stanford University and create a search engine named BackRub.
1998The startup, now renamed Google, gets $100,000 in funding from Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim.
1999Google 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.
June 2000Google becomes the default search engine provider for Yahoo, one of the most popular websites at the time.
October 2000Launches AdWords, the online advertising platform that would become core to Google’s business.
2001Eric Schmidt is named Google’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors
April 2004Google announces it is testing the release of Gmail, with up to 1GB of storage capacity
August 2004Launches initial public offering of roughly 19.6 million shares, at an opening price of $85 per share.
February 2005Launches Google Maps for desktop.
August 2005Acquires mobile startup Android.
Launches Google Talk instant messaging service.
2006Buys online video service YouTube for $1.65 billion
April 2007Announces acquisition of web ad supplier DoubleClick for $3.1 billion.
May 2007Introduces universal search that lets users access search results across all content types, like images, videos and news, at once.
September 2008Debuts first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1 or HTC Dream.
Launches Google Chrome web browser.
January 2010Launches smartphone, Nexus One, co-developed with HTC.
March 2010Stops censoring search results in China, leading to its banning in the country.
October 2010Google tests out its first self-driving vehicles with a small fleet of Toyota Prius cars in California.
June 2011Launches Google+ social networking service, which was shut down in 2018.
August 2011Announces acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which includes Motorola’s cellphone and TV set-top box businesses, for $12.5 billion.
2012Launches Google Glass.
2013Announces acquisition of Israeli mapping startup Waze for about $1 billion.
2014Announces in January that it will acquire AI firm DeepMind.
In the same month, announced a $3.2 billion deal to buy smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker Nest Labs.
2015Announces plans to create a new publicly listed company, Alphabet, which will house Google and other units, including YouTube and research and venture capital businesses. Sundar Pichai was named CEO of Google.
October 2016Launches the first Pixel smartphone.
November 2016Launches Google Home smart speaker.
June 2017The European Commission fines Google 2.42 billion euros for violating the neutrality of its search.
February 2018Google reports full-year sales of over $100 billion a year for the first time.
July 2018The European Commission fines Google 4.34 billion euros for anti-competitive practices with respect to its Android operating system.
March 2019The European Commission imposes a 1.49 billion euro fine for anti-competitive practices with respect to the company’s online advertising business.
June 2019Google announces acquisition of analytics startup Looker for $2.6 billion.
November 2019Announces acquisition of Fitbit for $2.1 billion.
December 2019Co-founders Page and Brin announce they are stepping down as CEO and president, respectively; Pichai becomes CEO of Alphabet.
2020Alphabet hits $1 trillion in market capitalization.
January 2023The company cuts 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its workforce.
February 2023Google 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.
February 2023Susan Wojcicki, one of Google’s first employees, steps down as YouTube CEO; Neal Mohan replaces her.
March 2023Begins rolling out Bard to some users.

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