Google was one of many companies born during the technology boom of the 1990’s. Today the American-based corporation offers a wide range of internet-related products and services, including web searches, Gmail, blogger, AdWords, Google Analytics and cloud computing.
Google was the brainchild of two Stanford University students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who collaborated on a graduate research project called BackRub. The search engine explored the World Wide Web for page links.
Page and Brin wanted a catchier name for their company and chose Google, a play on the word ‘googol,’ a mathematical term representing the number one followed by one hundred zeros. The year was 1997. The word ‘google’ has since been added to many dictionaries and ‘to google’ is an acceptable verb.
In 1998 Google set up shop in a garage, received seed money to grow their company, hired their first employee, and incorporated. Since the company’s inception April Fools’ Day is marked by at least one weird and wild company announcement designed to raise eyebrows and question whether the announcement is real or another hoax.
The company grew rapidly and eventually moved corporate headquarters to a large complex in Mountain View, California, known as Googleplex. Google debuted on Wall Street in 2004. Offices opened throughout the world. Google Australia began with one employee selling Google AdWords from home. The business quickly grew and Google opened new, expansive Sydney offices in 2009 with 350 Googlers.
Google forged joint relationships with many companies and organizations over the years, including NASA, AOL, News Corp., British Sky Broadcasting, and Sun Microsystems. The company has also had celebrated rivalries, the most well-known and contentious with Microsoft.
Google closed a string of acquisitions. One of the most important was the 2003 purchase of Pyra Labs, the owner of Blogger. Other purchases include YouTube, Adscape Media, and in 2012 Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Today Google employs over 34,000 worldwide.