From its humble beginnings in a garage to becoming a global phenomenon, Google has traversed an incredible journey spanning 25 years. Today, the name “Google” is virtually synonymous with the word “search,” and as it celebrates its 25th anniversary, we embark on a fascinating exploration of the lesser-known facets of this tech titan’s history. Prepare to be entertained and enlightened by the quirky stories that have shaped Google’s remarkable trajectory.
BackRub: The Pre-Google Era
Before Google became the household name it is today, it was known as “BackRub.” Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin initiated this project during their days at Stanford University back in 1996. The name “BackRub” stemmed from their initial focus on analyzing backlinks to assess website importance. Fortunately, they later adopted the more recognizable and enduring moniker, “Google.”
The Five-Minute Internet Apocalypse
Google’s downtime is a rare occurrence, but when it happens, the impact is felt worldwide. In a brief five-minute outage on August 16, 2013, all Google services went dark. The consequence? A staggering 40% drop in global internet traffic. This incident served as a stark reminder of our heavy reliance on Google’s services, spanning from Search to Gmail and beyond.
J.Lo’s Dress and the Birth of Google Images
Jennifer Lopez’s unforgettable green Versace dress at the Grammy Awards in 2000 not only grabbed headlines but also catalyzed the birth of the world’s most popular image-searching tool. The dress became the most sought-after search query at the time, but people craved images, not just text results. Enter Google Image search, introduced to meet this demand in 2001, initially featuring a whopping 250 million images from day one.
“Google” Officially Becomes a Verb
Google’s impact on our lives is so profound that it has transcended from a brand to a verb. In 2006, both the Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary officially recognized “google” as a verb. “Googling” has become the default phrase for conducting web searches, underscoring Google’s integral role in our daily routines.
From Garage to Tech Titan
Google’s origin story aligns with the quintessential Silicon Valley startup narrative. The company’s initial office was a rented garage, situated in Susan Wojcicki’s Menlo Park, California residence, commencing operations in September 1998. Wojcicki, now the CEO of YouTube, served as Google’s first marketing manager. The garage was eventually acquired by Google and transformed into an iconic space filled with candy, snacks, and lava lamps, solidifying its place in Google’s lore.
Gmail’s April Fool’s Launch
Google’s email service, Gmail, made its debut on April Fool’s Day in 2004. The announcement was cleverly worded, leading many to initially believe it was a prank. However, it turned out to be a brilliant double bluff, marking the inception of a service that now caters to millions of users worldwide on a daily basis.
As Google reaches its quarter-century mark, it is evident that its journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. From its unconventional beginnings as BackRub to revolutionizing internet search, webmail, and much more, Google’s impact on our digital lives is immeasurable. As we celebrate its 25th birthday, we can only imagine what groundbreaking innovations and surprises the future holds for this technological behemoth.
Happy birthday, Google! 🎂🎉