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What Happened to Google? The Rise of Google

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What Happened to Google? The Rise of Google

Google celebrated its 20th birthday last year, in September of 2018, and it is safe to say it has come a long way in these 20 years or so, from when it was known as BackRub in its early days, to being one of the biggest and most successful companies around. Search engines have always been around ever since the inception of the internet, from, Excite, Yahoo Directories and many others, all of which are discussed in detail over at the excellent A search engine, just for clarity purposes, is a program which searches the internet, finding webpages for you based on the keywords you enter. As far as Google is concerned, it came from seemingly nowhere to usurp search engine companies that were already established and dominate this particular field, eventually spreading its tentacles to other areas as discussed over at Its rise has definitely been meteoric and this article will look to retrace its steps, mapping out the rise of Google, from humble beginnings to what it is now.

Let us take it to the very beginning, and to Sanford University in 1995 where two students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were on the cusp of greatness, they just didn’t know it yet. They initially began working on a computer program known as BackRub, as mentioned above, which, as per the subject matter experts over at, was a search engine leveraging backlink analysis so as to track and record data on the internet. At the core of BackRub was a data collection system known as PageRank, which was the one that would assign importance to a website by counting the number of pages, taking into account the relevancy of those pages and eventually linking back to the original web page. Back then, search engines would rank search results based on how often a certain search term would appear on a webpage. BackRub, with PageRank at its core, received very positive reviews that it formed the foundation on which Google was built on. The project to build Google was, initially, pretty much a self-funded one by both Page and Brin, who worked on it in their dorm rooms on a shoestring budget. They used cheap, used and borrowed computer parts to build a server network. They even ended up maxing out their credit cards buying disks. Initially, as discussed over at, they tried to license their search engine but there were no bites at that early stage. This is when they decided to keep Google and look for more financing to improve the product and take it to the public themselves rather than licensing it.

Their decision to not license turned out to be an inspired one, as soon enough they were able to bring in initial funding. This arrived in the form of a $100,000 cash injection by the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Andy Bechtolsheim, who was so impressed by the Google demo that he didn’t even need that much convincing. He made out a check to Google Inc., which didn’t exist at that point and so the check sat uncashed in an office desk drawer, legend has it, until Brin and Page were able to incorporate the company. In September of 2008, Brin and Page incorporated the company, officially giving rise to Google Inc. while also raising more funding, some $900,000 from angel investors including Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon as discussed over at where you will also find information on the origin of the word Google. The funds allowed Brin and Page to open their first office and launch on beta. In September of 2009, another milestone for Google as it were able to remove the beta from its title. Google’s rise gathered speed as they were able to higher more and more employees and eventually moved offices to Mountain View, California. In 2001, Google was able to receive a patent for its PageRank technology, with Larry Page being listed as its inventor as discussed over at

The rise of Google continued to gather speed as 2002 saw another major milestone with the launch of AdWords, its pay-per-click advertising platform discussed in detail over at, which has been one of Google’s biggest profit avenues ever since its launch. Soon after, several other initiatives and products followed such as products like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Chrome, Google AdSense, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Earth, Google Android and many others. All of these products have gone on to be huge successes, with Gmail for instance going on to become one of the most dominant email platforms around, despite people thinking it was an April fool’s day gimmick when it was announced in April 1st of 2004. Their acquisition of YouTube also turned out to be a runaway success as the platform is now the biggest video content platform, bringing in billions of dollars in revenue each year as discussed over at The company, Google, also went public in 2004, which was yet another major milestone as far as it is concerned.

Google’s rise from the dorms in Stanford University to one of the world’s most admired and eminent companies is one that is awe-inspiring, with more on this to be found over at the highly regarded and