When the World Uses Google for Everything
Whenever we’re stumped, we whip our phones out and raise a finger mid-conversation just to say, “Let me just Google that!”
For sure it has at one time or another, happened to everyone on this planet, we’ve Googled something, it’s no longer a question as to why we tend to do this, it just happens naturally like breathing.
Can you imagine a world without Google? Now 22 years old, this tech company has practically shaped what the internet is today. A lone startup started by computer geeks at Stanford – Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
The idea for Google started as a dissertation topic for Larry Page’s doctoral thesis on the nature of backlinks on the web. Backlinking means tracking the number of links that lead back to a web page and how this popularity can be a measurement for site ranking. Their inherent love for maths and computing lead to the birth of a promising search engine called Google.
Google with its minimalist aesthetic was the complete antithesis of the powerful and well-funded search engine at that time which was Yahoo. They were both influential back then, but as different as night and day.
Yahoo looked cluttered and packed with the day’s info of news and trends while Google only had a single search bar and a few text-based links. But behind the scenes, Google was working on developing a lot of its own tech applications.
Then by the early 2000s, Google was gaining traction enough for Yahoo to make the move to buy it for $3 billion, but Google declined and held out hope for a $5 billion payout- which luckily never happened. Google went on and developed a lot more groundbreaking tech apps that we use today leaving Yahoo to collapse under its own weight of mismanagement and internal issues.
Today, most millennials are not even familiar with Yahoo, it’s a relic alongside other search engines of yore like Altavista, Lycos, Infoseek, Excite. Web names a lot of GenXers and Boomers would be familiar with.
But Google kept on swimming. On April Fool’s day 2004, Google rolled out the invite-only sign-ups to Gmail which offered an amazing free 1GB of storage to all users. A move unheard of at the time, eventually for everyone with an online-based email, those who had Yahoomail, Hotmail, Bigfoot mail started to make the switch to Google’s Gmail.
As mobile technology was stepping up its game, Google launched its zoomable Google Maps in 2005 giving business owners a chance to put their businesses literally on a global map online. Followed by GMaps getting sync with GPS navigation in 2009, Google Maps worked wonderfully well on smartphones which became the best tool to travel with at any given location.
But quite expectedly Google reached titan status and started to gobble up other groundbreaking tech companies, even beating Yahoo to the punch by acquiring YouTube for $1.65 billion. Making sure Google has the prize stake in the world’s video traffic.
Google’s influence today remains dominant and unparalleled, and unlike its predecessor Yahoo, it has managed to keep itself not just afloat, but always ahead of the tech curve.
Today Google’s future is looking bright. Besides developing a natural language algorithm for its search engine, it has also set its sights in developing insane tech through its R&D department.
Starting with finger control technology, Google’s impressive air swiping tech that’s quite similar to stuff you’d see at Tony Stark’s lab. Followed by home devices with the Google Assistant, robots, driverless cars, a space elevator and even a shot at cellular reprogramming for cancer care. Google is getting its hands into everything apparently, and at this current rate, with Google at the forefront- the future is a lot closer than we think.
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