Like any good Pokémon, things evolve over time, including internet giant, Google.
This week, Google turns 21. That’s 21 years of searches, ads, doodles, software, laptops, phones and social networking (we still remember you fondly Google+). Hush Digital has been building websites for the same amount of time. So we thought it was fitting to take a quick look back at how Google developed into the business it is today.
Launched back in Septemeber 1998 from a rented garage based in California, Google came to life thanks to computer scientists Larry Page and Sergey Brin. From there it grew into the behemoth it is today. At the time of launch, only organic search terms were displayed, oh how things would soon change.
Fast-forward, a few years and Google, had moved into the advertisement business. Google had already started to display integrated banner adverts into their search results. It wasn’t until midway through 2000 when GoogleAds (or AdWords as it was known at the time of launch,) started to gain some attention from business big and small. Who soon started to realise they could use this new tool to their advantage. AdWords came with the same basic fundamentals that Google’s organic searches were famous for, the adverts would only be relevant to the user’s search. This principle has remained the same throughout the past 19 years. Placement of ads has moved around a little bit over the years. Who remembers when ads used to be down the right-hand side of a page, for example? However, if a user searched for “Web Design Darlington”, they would be served with ads that followed that search term.
You can pinpoint when Google expanded its growth, and it followed the introduction of universal and vertical search. What does that mean? Well, its searches we take for granted today; maps, news, videos, images, shopping – all additional search functions that allow you to find pretty much anything online in seconds.
You might not realise you do it, but instead of typing in a URL into a browser, how many of us just “Google It”? Well, this is where Google really started to dominate the search engine game.
How many of you had a Hotmail email address? Well if you were a 90’s kid, you probably did. Fast forward to today, and over 1.4 billion people use Gmail as their email provider, including the majority of the HushBots. What started out as a secret email project by a developer, grew into the largest website platform in the world!
It is hard to believe that in 2017, YouTube was valued at $160 billion. Youtube was purchased in 2016 for a fraction of the cost. Actually, the 2017 valuation was roughly 100 times what Google paid for it!
Back in the day you either had to pay a fortune for Microsoft Office, or you had to suffice with Open Office. Nowadays you have word processing, spreadsheets and presentations all in the cloud, thanks to Docs. Combined with Drive integration, Docs is the go-to for a cost-effective office package. It is hard to believe that Docs is free and how widely utilised it is. This blog was actually created using Docs!
Many of us thought that Google couldn’t make it outside of the software game. However, Google moved into the hardware game with the Nexus line of mobile phones, powered by their own software, Android. After steady growth with its Android platform, the focus was shifted over to the Pixel smartphone. Around the same time as the first Android device hitting the shelves, Chrome was also launched and became the most dominant web browser in history!
In 2015 Google decided to restructure itself with a new parent company, Alphabet. Things didn’t really change, we didn’t start saying “Alphabet It” instead of “Google It”. The changes came to be to help shareholders understand Google’s financial position, without some of the other programs and investments Google had running by the side.
Depending on which room you are in at HushHQ, you can sometimes say “OK, Google” followed by a command. This is due to Google’s launch of the AI assistant program and devices. Smart technology is the future and Google are at the forefront with the likes of Apple playing catch up.
It is hard to think of a world without Google. Only a few of the older HushBots can remember a world without Google or even the internet! Google will be here to stay and who knows what advancements in technology they will help develop next? We’re going to be seeing a glimpse of this soon as the date of Google’s 2019 hardware event draws ever closer. All we know is that we will be along for the ride!