Chances are that you found this very article through Google. So needless to say, Google seems to embed in every angle of our lives. It has shaped the way we use the internet and has become somewhat vital for all of us. Whether it be for information, communication, or just entertainment, Google is always there, ready to serve. It is not only a search engine but much more. The story of the origin of Google is nothing short of remarkable and definitely worth looking into. And thus, today, we bring you the what, how, and when of the infamous search engine and its contributions since birth.
A classic tale of good entrepreneurship, paired with hard work and obviously a little luck. The story begins in 1995 when Larry Page met Sergey Brin. Back then, Larry Page was a Ph.D. student at Stanford University, and Sergey was considering studying there. After a good bond had been created between the two, they started working on a search engine called BackRub in 1996. As soon as it hit, BackRub became very prosperous and famous on the campus. What was different about this search engine was that it used PageRank. PageRank determined a website’s relevance by taking into account the number of pages, along with the importance of the pages, that linked back to the original site. At the time, search engines ranked results based on how often a search term appeared on a webpage. And so, with this technology, their search engine worked better than others at that time. Inspired by their success, the duo then pursued this project further to the realms of search engines and their capabilities.
This engine worked on the Stanford servers for more than a year before it eventually clogged up the bandwidth and was forced to move. Then on September 15th of 1997, Google was finally registered. The name Google is a wordplay on “googol,” which is a mathematical term for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.
Google was incorporated on September 4th, 1998, as a private company. The duo then relocated to the garage of Susan Wojcicki, who would later become CEO of YouTube. The company started off with a $100,000 investment from Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim. And so, begin the journey of Page and Brin’s’ business success.
In 2001, Google filed for and received a patent for its PageRank technology that listed Larry Page as the inventor. By that time, the company was big enough to relocate itself near to Palo Alto. Once the company became public, people worried that the “Do No Evil” motto of the company would undoubtedly be tarnished. The motto echoed a commitment by the founders and all employees to carry out their work with fairness and without conflicts of interest or bias. To ensure the company stayed true to its core values, the position of chief culture officer was established.
During the period of rapid growth, Google introduced a variety of products for its consumers. They included Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Voice, and a web browser called Chrome. It also acquired streaming video platforms YouTube and Blogger.com. As time progresses, we can see more products from the company like Nexus phones, or Pixel as we know them now.
Also, Chromecast, Chromebooks Google Home, and so on. Google also monetized its search engine capabilities through Google AdWords. This online platform enables the company to earn revenue through pay-per-click advertising. Hence, the advertising revenue still reigns as Googles’ most massive income and financial driver.
How were they so successful?
So we can gather that Google brought to the table a lot of new innovations and ideas that other competitors like Yahoo had lacked. But even so, what was it about Google that made it so insanely popular and successful? Well, when you ask yourself that question, a lot of things come into play. It is a melting pot of not only proper product development and design but also excellent execution, good management, and diversity. A range of elements came together to craft itself into one great experience for the user. So below, we have mentioned some of the key factors that played a part in the success of that garage built search engine and all of its endeavors.
- Branding: You have to hand it to them. Google has some of the most iconic and memorable branding tactics. They have successfully turned the name of their company into a verb, what more can you want! This strategic branding and recognition is what had helped the company not only be sustainable in terms of relevance but also establish itself almost untouchable compared to competitors.
- Focus on user experience: The product designs and developments at Google are centered around consumers first and revenue second. This is a significant thing to observe about Google. Even though they are primarily a search engine, they still focus on the user’s experience and feedback from improvement. Google firmly believes that the better the user experience, the more easily money will follow.
- Technology: PageRank was one great invention of Google but also the fact that Google is a purpose-built hardware company, that builds all its own servers from components it buys directly for their manufacturers. They keep things internal and also fresh. Constant updates and maintenance of the whole system help the company not only stay competitive but also helps growth and expansion.
- Business Model Creativity: The perfection of creating targeted advertisements paired with Google’s inherent nature to listen to their audiences has helped it make the ideal business model fit for their type of company. Also, being able to adapt and change according to the industry environment has Google stay relevant throughout the years.
Overall, there are certainly more things to consider if you really want to investigate the success of this mammoth of a company. But some basic requirements are undoubtedly hard work, ethical leadership, calculative risks, and also a little bit of luck! Larry Page and Sergey Brin made sure to grab hold of the opportunities that were upon them, and that led them to real treasures. Even so, remaining diligent in the market and also having integrity has helped Google stay on the top for years on end.
“You can climb Google, but you can’t move it”- Jeff Bezos