Google Turns 15 years old

Remember the early days of the internet? Remember the interesting yet painful exercise of exploring the web with multiple search engines? Finding what you need took you a lot longer than it takes you today. Luckily all this has changed and it has become a lot easier thanks to Google. Many of you probably stumbled onto the Junk Mail website for the first time because you Googled us.

Great news is that Google turns 15 years old this month. To mark this the Search Engine has created a special interactive Google Doodle for today! Make sure that you check out the Google website today before they change it.

Google 15 Year Doodle

Still in the dark about Google? Check out these interesting facts that you might not have known about them:

  • Google started out as Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s research project (while they were both doing their Ph.D’s) at Stanford University in 1996.
  • Initially conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on a page, but Brin and Page theorized about a better system that analysed the relationships between websites. They called this new technology PageRank (which determined a website’s relevance by the number of pages and the importance of those pages, that linked back to the original site).
  • The Google Search Engine was first nicknamed “BackRub” (because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site).
  • Because Brin and Page did not know HTML, the original Google search engine did not contain a “Submit” button. For a long time you could only use the site by hitting the “Enter” button and the Google logo was only centred on the site in 2001.
  • The company was officially founded on the 4th of September 1998.
  • The Google website was hosted on the Stanford University’s server before the “” domain name was registered on the 15th of September 1998.
  • Google actually got its name when an investor miss spelling the word “googol” (which is actually the number one followed by one hundred zeros, which was picked to signify that the search engine was intended to provide large quantities of information) on a cheque.
  • Google went public in 2004. The shares sold totalled  $1.67 billion and gave Google a market capitalization of more than $23 billion. Many Google employees became millionaires overnight.
  • The “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on the Google search engine page costs the company an estimated $100 million in lost advertising revenue annually.
  • Brin and Page have instated a policy that no Google employee should ever be too far from a micro-kitchen with snacks and food. The first chef that Google employed earned $26 million from his stock options.
  • The first Google doodle was a Burning Man symbol. Page Brin went to the Burning Man festival in 1998 and this was their way to let users know that they were not in the office that weekend.
  • Some core Google services went down for 5 minutes recently and caused worldwide internet traffic to drop by 40%.
  • On average Google has acquired more than one company every week since 2010.
  • Google bought YouTube in late 2006 for $1.57 billion.
  • To date over 5 million miles of road has been photographed for the Google’s Street View app.
  • Some of the company’s corporate philosophies include “you can make money without doing evil,” “you can be serious without a suit,” and “work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun.”

So, celebrate Google’s 15th birthday day by doing an extra Google search or two, by viewing more than usual videos on YouTube, by finding out how you should drive to meet up that hot date tonight by using the directions feature on Google Maps or by downloading a new game for your Android phone using Google’s Play store. It doesn’t matter if you love them or hate them; Google has changed our lives a lot over the last 15 years and will probably continue to do so for many years to come.

Spread the word about this Google celebration. Share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is caring.

Watch this space for regular updates in the General News category on the Junk Mail Blog.

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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