Today, Google has wished itself a happy 16th birthday with a doodle on its homepage. Sweet sixteen, eh? As much as we hate to break Google’s youthful little bubble, we must admit that the search giant is a tad older than it thinks it is.
The web domain www.google.com was launched on September 15, 1997, which means Google is actually 17 now. Google opened for business on September 4 1998, but since then has shifted the date around making September 27 as its birthday.
Even as Google celebrates its 16th birthday today, its history dates back to 1996, when founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin started working on the website as part of their PhD project at Stanford University. The aim was to create a search engine which used a new approach to finding pages based on their relevancy. This they did by applying the PageRank algorithm.
The search engine was originally called BackRub, as it checked backlinks to estimate the rank of a website. They then decided to rename it as ‘googol’ which signifies the large number of information it would hold i.e 10100. However, the word googol was misspelled as Google, which went on to become the company’s name.
Little had anyone known that the humble search service would turn into the world’s most powerful tech giants. Apart from receiving over three billion search queries per day, today, Google has thousands of products under its arm which spread across publishing, hardware, social media as well as development and research tools.