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Google turns 20, and these are its 20 milestones that changed the Internet forever

26 mayo, 2021

Google, one of the largest technology companies in the world, owner of the most used browser, the most installed mobile operating system and 18% of the market share of online advertising, is celebrating today. On this day in 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google, possibly unaware that they were about to change the Internet forever.

Today, Google turns 20, and from Genbeta we have wanted to review some of its most important milestones, those that have changed the way consumers use the Internet. Because Google is much, much, much more than a search engine.

1997: domain is registered

Original Google logo This was the first Google logo

Because every story has a starting point. Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered the domain in 1997, a year after renaming your search engine from BackRub to Google, referring to the mathematical term ‘gugol’, which symbolizes a 10 ^ 100.

On September 4, 1998, the two Stanford colleagues founded Google Inc. A few days later, on the 27th of that same month, they launched globally. It didn’t take long to overtake AltaVista, the most used browser so far.

By the year 2000, Google had already become the world’s most widely used search engine, with 1 billion sites indexed and 13 billion searches per month.

2001: Image search hits Google with Google Images

Although it is a very common function and one that we all use daily, it took 3 years from the launch of the search engine for it to index individual images. In its first year of life, Google Images indexed 250 million files. In just four years it exceeded the figure of one billion, and in 2010 it reached 10 billion.

2002: Google News arrives

Google News was raised as a index of news from all media from all corners of the world. It was released in April 2002. In 2005 he received a lawsuit from the AP agency for $ 18.5 million for indexing his texts and photos. The Big G paid the fine and, in 2009, stopped indexing agency content.

By 2013, Google News already had 50,000 different sources of information in more than 60 languages

By 2013, Google News already had 50,000 different sources of information in more than 60 languages ​​across the globe. To date, Spain and China are the only countries that do not have this service.

2003: Programmatic advertising comes to Google thanks to AdSense

Google Adsense

As we mentioned earlier, Google has a huge share of the advertising market, and that’s thanks to its AdSense ad network. After launching Google AdWords in 2000, and despite its initial idea of ​​being an ad-free search engine, the company upped the ante with a service that allowed show advertising based on user interests.

In 2017, the Big G touched $ 100 billion in advertising revenue. That is equivalent to 13 euros for every citizen of the world.

2004: Gmail enters the scene

On March 31, 2004, Google launched Gmail in beta. Its main bet was to offer its users 1 GB of capacity and a search engine very similar to the one it already offered in its browser. Initially, it was only accessible to users who received an invitation from a Gmail user.

It will not be until February 2007 that Google opens its service to everyone. It would take five years to surpass Hotmail, and two more to achieve one billion downloads on Android. To this day, it is the most used mail service in the world.

2005: Google Maps and Google Analytics are launched

2005 was an interesting year for Google. On the one hand, this year we attended the launch of Google Maps, one of the most used map services globally and a benchmark in the mobile sector. In fact, in 2017 it already had 2 billion active users per month.

On the other hand, it also released the first version of Google analytics, your web monitoring service. Any self-respecting website has an Analytics panel from which to analyze the behavior of its users, know the origin of the traffic and discover the most successful publications.

2005: Google wants to go mobile and buys Android


Although Andy Rubin created Android as an operating system for portable cameras, it didn’t take long for the Big G to discover the potential of this firmware applied to smartphones. He bought Rubin’s company on July 11, 2005 for $ 50 million.

Today, and after many interesting changes, Android the most installed mobile operating system in the world, and more than 1,3000 manufacturers trust it to incorporate it into their devices (which has been worth the occasional problem with the European Union). It will not be until 2012 that, with the merger of Google Music and Android Market, we meet the Google Play Store.

2005: one more step towards a mobile world

In 2005 he also launched Google Mobile Web Search, a search system designed to reproduce search results on the mobile screen with an interface similar to the desktop version. Most of the traffic that Google receives today comes from mobiles.

2006: Google needs a video platform, so it buys YouTube

Watching videos is synonymous with watching YouTube. The company was created by three former PayPal employees in 2004 and became part of the Big G in October 2006, previous payment of 1,650 million dollars. It is currently the most widely used video on demand service in the world, without a strong rival to stand up to it.

2006: Google launches Google Translator

Google translator

Another of Google’s great milestones was the launch of Google Translator, better known in the Spanish-speaking world as Google Translate. Today it supports 102 languages ​​and is capable of translating texts even when offline.

It is used by countless websites to offer a translation into different languages, and any user can translate any website instantly by right clicking when browsing with Google Chrome.

2007: Google Shopping, all e-commerce converge into one

Launched in 2007 as Froogle and renamed Google Shopping in April of the same year, this service brings together the vast majority of online stores, allowing the user to search for anything and compare prices on all of them at once. At the moment, it is only available in 21 countries.

2008: What if we launch our own browser? Google Chrome kicks in

Google Chrome, like almost all Google services, it is the most widely used browser in the world. It was released on September 2, 2008, delivering a fatal blow to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

For their development, the guys at Google took the Chromium source code, a free software project, and they implemented some improvements focused on convergence. As the Google Account slogan says: “One account, all Google.” He recently turned 10 years old.

2009: Chrome OS, an operating system designed for the desktop

Google’s suite of services became more and more complete over time, and after getting a mobile operating system, it was time to launch one for desktop. Thus, and using Chromium OS technology, Google created Chrome OS, an OS based on Google Chrome designed for small laptops that saw the light of day in the first Chromebook.

His main bet is the access to cloud services through Chrome, although it is still far from being a rival for more established systems such as Windows, Linux or Mac OS.

2010: the first Nexus hits the market

With a market full of Android smartphones, the Big G did not want to miss the opportunity to create a terminal made by Google. This was the Nexus range. Each year, Google commissioned a different manufacturer to manufacture the device, the first being HTC and the second Samsung.

The range was discontinued after the launch of the Nexus 6P made by Huawei, although Google took it up with its Google Pixel.

2011: mobile payments reach Google thanks to Wallet

NFC was already a known technology back in 2011, and Google saw the opportunity. On September 19, 2011, it launched its mobile payment service and card storage, Google Wallet.

This was renamed as Google Pay after the merger of Google Wallet and Android Pay, and is currently supported by the vast majority of Android smartphones. 3 years after its launch, in 2014, Apple introduced its own system, Apple Pay.

2012: cloud for everyone with Google Drive

Google drive

Uploading files to the cloud is something that we all have internalized but it is not as old as it seems. Five years after the arrival of Dropbox, the Big G wanted to join the cloud storage market with Drive.

Google already had Google Docs since 2007, a service that allowed you to upload and edit text files, and in 2012 it changed its name to Drive. Unlike Google Docs, which only offered 1GB of storage, Google Drive offered 15 GB to its users. Both Docs and Drive coexist today, although the former has been integrated into the latter.

2012: Google Now, the Siri of Android

The next natural step in interacting with smartphones was through voice. Emerged as an evolution of Google Voice Search, Google introduced Now on June 27, 2012 during Google I / O and it was implemented for the first time in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, released on July 9 of the same year.

2015: Google Inc. restructures and becomes Alphabet

Without notice, on August 10, 2015, Google Inc. carries out a restructuring and becomes part of a multinational conglomerate called Alphabet. Thus, Google becomes the main subsidiary of this gigantic conglomerate, in which we find other companies such as Calico (biotechnology) or Nest.

According to Page and Brin, the idea of ​​this change is to have “more business freedom to independently manage things that have little to do with each other” and that, until now, were summarized in “just Google.”

2016: goodbye Google Now, hello Google Assistant

Google Now evolves and becomes Google Assistant. This new AI-powered virtual assistant, launched in May 2016, is installed in almost all Android smartphones today, and its main difference from its predecessor is the two-way communication. The user no longer talks to his mobile, he talks to an Artificial Intelligence.

This was introduced in the Google Allo messaging application, although it was later separated and introduced in the Google app. It is able to search for information, offer data, call, send messages, play podcasts and everything a range of virtually unlimited features.

2016: Google Home, the arrival of the Internet to the home

We thus arrive at the first step towards the future of technology. The Google Home was announced at the same time as Google Assistant and was, in fact, the first device to …