Google's 25-year journey from dorm to internet dominance

September 26, 2023 5:03 PM EDT

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Google is seen at the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France, June 14, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

(Reuters) - More than 25 years ago, two students at Stanford University brainstormed in their dormitory and came up with an idea - to create an internet search engine that would organize web pages and also rank them.

Initially called BackRub, the startup grew into one of the world's most valuable and influential companies, Google.

Google's products, including Gmail and search, are now used by billions and its co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, rank among the richest people in the world.

Here are some milestones in the history of the tech giant, whose parent is now known as Alphabet:


1995-1996 Page and Brin meet at Stanford University and

create a search engine named BackRub.

1998 The startup, now renamed Google, gets $100,000

in funding from Sun Microsystems co-founder

Andy Bechtolsheim.

1999 Google announces $25 million in funding from

Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins in its

very first press release, and officially

announces the term "Googlers" to the world.

June 2000 Google becomes the default search engine

provider for Yahoo, one of the most popular

websites at the time.

October Launches AdWords, the online advertising

2000 platform that would become core to Google's


2001 Eric Schmidt is named Google's chief executive

officer and chairman of the board of


April 2004 Google announces it is testing the release of

Gmail, with up to 1GB of storage capacity.

August Launches initial public offering of roughly

2004 19.6 million shares, at an opening price of

$85 per share.

February Launches Google Maps for desktop.


August Acquires mobile startup Android.

2005 Launches Google Talk instant messaging


2006 Buys online video service YouTube for $1.65


April 2007 Announces acquisition of web ad supplier

DoubleClick for $3.1 billion.

May 2007 Introduces universal search that lets users

access search results across all content

types, like images, videos and news, at once.

September Debuts first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1 or

2008 HTC Dream.

Launches Google Chrome web browser.

January Launches smartphone, Nexus One, co-developed

2010 with HTC.

March 2010 Stops censoring search results in China,

leading to its banning in the country.

October Google tests out its first self-driving

2010 vehicles with a small fleet of Toyota Prius

cars in California.

June 2011 Launches Google+ social networking service,

which was shut down in 2018.

August Announces acquisition of Motorola Mobility,

2011 which includes Motorola's cellphone and TV

set-top box businesses, for $12.5 billion.

2012 Launches Google Glass.

2013 Announces acquisition of Israeli mapping

startup Waze for about $1 billion.

2014 Announces in January that it will acquire AI

firm DeepMind.

In the same month, announces a $3.2 billion

deal to buy smart thermostat and smoke alarm

maker Nest Labs.

2015 Announces plans to create a new publicly

listed company, Alphabet, which will house

Google and other units, including YouTube and

research and venture capital businesses.

Sundar Pichai named CEO of Google.

October Launches the first Pixel smartphone.


November Launches Google Home smart speaker.


June 2017 The European Commission fines Google 2.42

billion euros for violating the neutrality of

its search.

February Google reports full-year sales of over $100

2018 billion a year for the first time.

July 2018 The European Commission fines Google 4.34

billion euros for anti-competitive practices

with respect to its Android operating system.

March 2019 The European Commission imposes a 1.49 billion

euros fine for anti-competitive practices with

respect to the company's online advertising


June 2019 Google announces acquisition of analytics

startup Looker for $2.6 billion.

November Announces acquisition of Fitbit for $2.1

2019 billion.

December Co-founders Page and Brin announce they are

2019 stepping down as CEO and president,

respectively; Pichai becomes CEO of Alphabet.

2020 Alphabet hits $1 trillion in market


January The company cuts 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its

2023 workforce.

February Google announces Bard, a generative AI-powered

2023 chatbot that can produce text content and

fetch information off the internet. However, a

factual error in the AI tool's demo tanks

Alphabet shares, erasing $100 billion from the

company's market capitalization.

Susan Wojcicki, one of Google's first

employees, steps down as YouTube CEO; Neal

Mohan replaces her.

March 2023 Begins rolling out Bard to some users.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta, Arsheeya Bajwa, Yuvraj Malik, Samrhitha Arunasalam and Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)

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