15 milestones of Google on its 15th anniversary

by Sohini Bagchi    Sep 05, 2013


“Basically, our goal is to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.” - Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO

Google, a name that has become synonymous with search – is set to celebrate its 15th birthday this September. Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the company with its humble beginnings in a rented garage the Internet now has over 70 offices in more than 40 global locations, including India, with their headquarters in Mountain View, California. The company grew substantially in its size and reputation and its innovtion subsequently have become a part of daily life including Android phones, Google Maps, Google Earth, as well as in business with its mail, mobile devices and analytics solutions. Going ahead, Google Glass is considered be one of its latest products that can create a revolution in the world of mobility.

Of its mutiple achievements, CXOtoday lists out 15 key milestones as a tribute to the Internet giant.

July 2000: Google becomes the world’s largest search engine and by the end of the year, it has 1 billion indexes. The Search engine now makes more than 13 billion searches a month.

July 2001: Images search is launched, where nearly 250 million images were indexed. In 2005, it hits a milestone with 1 billion images indexed. By 2010, the index reached 10 billion images. As of July 2010, the service receives over one billion views a day. The company keeps upgrading this area with newer concepts and tools.

February 2003: Google buys blogging platform Blogger, and it a pretty good deal for millions of people have their own voice on the web and organizing the world’s information from the personal perspective.

March 2004: Gmail was launched. Initially started as an invitation-only beta release, it became available to the general public on February 7, 2007. The service was upgraded from beta status since 2009, along with the rest of the Google Apps suite, with greater innovation efforts every year.

October 2004: Google launches Desktop Search and by reaches 8 billion indexes by the end of the year. the free downloadable application which enables users to search for information on their own computers, has added search over the full text of PDFs and the meta-information stored with music, image and video files.

June 2005: A landmark year for Google. The company launches Google maps, a satellite imagery-based mapping service combining 3D buildings and terrain with mapping capabilities and Google search. It also comes up with Google Earth, Talk and Video. The company also acquired Urchin, a web analytics company whose technology is used to create Google Analytics.  Google Mobile Web Search is released, specially formulated for viewing search results on mobile phones.

July 2005: Android is bought by Google, a Linux-based operating system, designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. A developer survey conducted in April–May 2013 found that Android is the most popular platform for developers, used by 71% of the mobile developer population. Android’s share of the global smartphone market, led by Samsung products, was 64% in March 2013.  In July 2013 there were 11,868 different models of Android device, scores of screen sizes and eight OS versions simultaneously in use. As of May 2013, a total of 900 million Android devices have been activated and 48 billion apps have been installed from the Google Play store. As of 3 September 2013, there have been 1 billion Android devices activated

October 2006: Google buys video-sharing website YouTube for $1.65bn (£883m). YouTube, launched in February 2005, has grown quickly into one of the most popular websites on the internet. It has 100 million videos viewed every day and an estimated 72 million individual visitors each month.

September 2008: Search index reaches 1 trillion and the Chrome browser is unveiled. The company throws a shot at software giant Microsoft with the release of its very own web browser.

July 2009: Google launches its Chrome OS for netbooks. Google Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system designed by Google to work primarily with web applications. The user interface takes a minimalist approach and consists almost entirely of just the Google Chrome web browser, since the operating system is aimed at users who spend most of their computer time on the Web, the only “native” applications on Chrome OS are a browser, media player and file manager

July 2010: The first Nexus smartphone handset - the Nexus One - is launched, which boasts a highly-developed touch screen and other enhancements. The phone is based on Google’s Android software, which it first launched two years ago as a way of moving sideways into the mobile market.

August 2011: Plans are announced for Google to buy Motorola Mobility. Within a year, Google completed its $12.5 billion acquisition of phone maker Motorola - and immediately appointed a senior Google exec as CEO. In a blog post Larry Page writes that Google has acquired Motorola not only because of its strength in Android smartphones and devices, but also for being a “market leader in the home devices and video solutions business.”

March 2012: Google launches the Play store with TV and movie rentals as well as apps. Google Play movies are now available for rent in India and Mexico, Google has announced. Users in those countries can watch movies on the web or through the Google Play Movies & TV Android app.

April 2012: First Google tablet, made by Asus, launches called Nexus 7 Google has started selling its Nexus 7 tablet in India Tuesday, and these recent updates are obviously part of the company’s push to one of the world’s most populous countries.

June 2012: Google Glass is unveiled. is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) that is being developed by Google in the Project Glass research and development project, with a mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer. Google Glass received recognition by Time Magazine as one of the “Best Inventions of the Year 2012″, alongside inventions such as the Curiosity Rover.

June 2013: Google buys mapping and navigation company Waze to boost its mapping software and self-driving car capability.

June 2013: Google balloons fitted with internet transmitters launched. The project aims to spread affordable Internet access to even the most remote regions. Project Loon was developed in the clandestine Google X lab that also came up with a driverless car and Google’s Web-surfing eyeglasses.

Google’s success lies in the fact that they have built one of the best known brands in the world. There are also several instances of failure as the company kept up with its growth momentum, adapting to new technology and market trends, which many of its contemporaries have failed.  This did not just happen overnight but was the result of a concerted marketing effort and a mindset to innovate. After all if people automatically associate Google with search engines it is pretty hard to get them to try a different one, says a Google user. To sum up with Page’s quote again, “If you’re changing the world, you’re working on important things. You’re excited to get up in the morning,”a humble lesson for all business and technology professionals in the industry.