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Happy Birthday, Google! The Search Giant Turns 13 Today

You probably thought today was just another day in late-September, didn’t you? ‘Fraid not. Today is Google’s 13th birthday! Better hit the Hallmark store on your lunch break and buy them a card – you owe them at least that.

It’s hard to believe the search engine that revolutionized the web is just now entering its troublesome teenage years. Harder still to think that, once upon a time, Google wasn’t much more than the little search engine that could. In fact, at this point, it’s almost amusing to think that they were once a fledgling new service.

That being said, let’s take a quick look back:


Think for a moment about what the web looked like in the mid-90s – before Google was on the scene. Yeah, it’s tough. Know why? Because who the hell wants to remember what the web looked like in the mid-90s?! It was chaos. It was disarray. The web was daunting, ugly, and barely navigable back then. In a lot of ways, it still is, though thankfully not to the same extent, and some would argue that Google is part of the reason why. As a matter of fact, some maintain that Google is responsible for “[giving] the internet its needed structure and stability.”

Say what you will. You can’t refute Google’s dependability. They provide what most of us web users would call an essential service, and there are plenty of technical reasons why. That they’ve been doing it for 13 years now is almost a moot point. We expect results from Google, and they deliver. To be honest, they’ve delivered from day one.

Speaking of “day one”…

Google Birthday (Early Years)

I’d say they’ve made some progress since then.

At the end of the day, we just don’t think of Google the same way we think of online retailers, informational websites, or even social networks. Somehow, they’re beyond that. I’ll be the first to admit that I have Google set as the homepage on my home PC’s browser, and I’m fairly certain that there are millions of others who have done the same. If that isn’t brand loyalty, I’m not sure what is!

Providing 13 years of universally appreciated service is no small feat – especially when that service is web-based. So, again (in all-caps this time)…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GOOGLE!

Keep up the good work.

Are you surprised that the search giant has enjoyed 13 years of success? Do you have Google set as your browser’s homepage? Respond below!

Image sources: Jason.IT and Carlos Luna


Joseph Giorgi

Joseph is the head of the Media Team at Quality Logo Products. He's a video specialist, blogger, perfectionist, and all-around likeable guy. When he's not busy focusing on the nitty-gritty details of his written and visual work, he's normally listening to bad 80s music and scouring the internet for useless information on useless subjects. You can also connect with Joe on Google+.

Comments

  1. Scooby

    Makes you think… what have I done in 13 years’ time? Damn you google!! ;-)

  2. Bret Bonnet

    Where are the goody bags Google?!?! :)

  3. JPorretto

    Nice work good sir! Way to find that “day one” pic. Overall though, compared to some other major websites, I’d say Google hasn’t changed that much visually. I was actually shocked to see how similar the 1998 version looked to today’s. They identified very quickly that people wanted a clutter free search engine, and merely tweaked the formula after that.

    P.S. I remember using webcrawler.com and someone saying to me “Pssh, you should be using Google.” I though “WTF is a google?”

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Good point! Google’s main page has always benefited from minimalism — an excellent choice on the designers’ part from day one. I was also very surprised to see how little they’ve changed over the years. But like you said, they never really needed to.

  4. Mandy Kilinskis

    Happy birthday, Google. You have become the standard for online searching and it’s going to take a mighty powerful force to bring you down. After all, if I need an answer, I’ll be told to “Google it.” You never hear someone say “Bing it” or “Ask Jeeves it.” (Yeah, I just brought back a defunct search engine, what now!)

    And instead of hitting a Hallmark, I’ll just google for some ecards.

    • JPorretto

      Very true. When someone asks me a simple question, such as “What is the capital of Montana?” I reply with this:

      http://tinyurl.com/mxaj53

      Tell all your friends =)

      • Amanda

        That tinyurl thing is too funny! I remember the first time you sent that to me, I laughed so hard. Thanks for sharing Jeff! =)

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I’m totally going to tell people to “Ask Jeeves it” from now on! I can’t believe I forgot about that site. Then again, I can’t recall it ever returning a single relevant search result for me, so maybe it’s best left forgotten.

      • Mandy Kilinskis

        It never did give relevant results, did it? I guess that’s why my involvement of Ask Jeeves devolved into asking it completely irrelevant questions and seeing what kind of answers it gave. :P

    • Amanda

      Ask Jeeves was my my favorite search engine back then Mandy. I did forget about it until just now though, lol.

  5. amy

    I had no idea Google was 13, wow. It seems like they should be younger for some reason. Weird. I don’t have Google set up as my homepage though, I should since I use it so often LOL.

    Random, but remember when Google first became popular and the whole concept of “googling yourself” exploded?? I still remember sitting in my school’s computer lab with a bunch of friends googling everyone we knew. Awww, the simpler times before Facebook ;)

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Those were the days — that’s for sure. Wow, now that you mention it, I think the last time I Googled myself was in 2001 or 2002. Hang on a sec…

      (Googling “joseph giorgi”)

      Wow! Now I’m depressed! Only ONE of the first-page results is actually ME! There are apparently several other Joseph Giorgis out there, and they’re all much more interesting. One of them is on IMDB, one is a guitarist, and one was in the military.

      I’m never going to Google myself again. :'(

      • amy

        Apparently there’s a lot of Facebook and Twitter accounts for all the Amy Swansons of the world, since that’s all that comes up with my name LOL

        For what it’s worth, you’re still the most interesting Joesph Giorgi that I know :)

  6. Jenna Markowski

    I can’t believe that Google is 13 years old! I also think it is interesting/commendable that over the past 13 years they have made subtle changes to their interface, but the changes were cohesive, Google never missed a beat, and their services have only been improving. It’s like Google was gradually changing right before my eyes, and I never even really noticed it until it was pointed out to me! (A certain social networking site that starts with F and ends with book could learn a few lessons from Google about this)

    Great post, Joe! :)

    • Joseph Giorgi

      “…starts with F and ends with book…”

      You need to be more clear, Jenna. That could be a million different social networking sites.

      Anyway, you’re absolutely right about Google: their changes in design have only been “subtle” changes, and that’s probably a good thing. The simplicity of their core service has always been their selling point. They know that there’s no need to fluff it up with aesthetics or complicate it with add-ons and such.

    • Amanda

      I agree Jenna! I love their simple design. It’s so google of them! lol =) And yes, Facebook could take some tips from them and stop changing things that aren’t broken.

      Happy Birthday Google! You’ve accomplished so much in your short 13 years.

  7. Jen

    Happy Birthday Google! I would be lost without you. Literally, I’m terrible at researching on the web. Without it I may still be using books for information. Did I get that correct, books are still used for researching too, right? Nice post Joe, your blogs are the best!

  8. Lisa B.

    Goody bags? What Google needs is a full-on, over-the-top, bar mitzvah!

  9. Eric

    If for no other reason than their almost-daily-customized banners, Google’s a smart enterprise. I know quite a few of you above said not much as changed as far as the basic interface and functionality goes, but it really is something to see how much more progress they’ve made in the past couple years than they have collectively. And to think I used to search with AltaVista back in the day. Well, shame on me.

    Thanks for a little bit of 90’s nostalgia, Joe! Good stuff as always.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      You’re welcome for the nostalgia, Eric. :) And you’re right: the changes that Google makes aren’t necessarily the kind that would be noticeable on their site. They’ve made huge strides forward in a number of areas over these last few of years, but most of it has been behind the scenes. Even so, I think the progressive spirit of the company definitely shines through.

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