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Google celebrates 20 years

Google is celebrating its 20th anniversary, the opportunity to revisit the key steps of what was basically a simple search engine and take stock of new developments.

Two years after its launch in 1998, Google is going international. The search engine is available in 10 new languages; French, German, Spanish, Finnish, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Danish and Swedish, and at the same time it becomes the first engine to index more than a billion internet pages.

On August 19, 2004, the American firm made a notable entry on the New York Stock Exchange. The introductory price is set at $ 85, in the space of a few hours, the stock exceeds $ 100, for a market valuation of $ 23.1 billion.

The Google empire

Valuation facilitates investments, in the space of 5 years, Google becomes an empire:

  • February 2005, one of the most popular applications in the world is launched, it is the Google Maps mapping service.
  • November 2006, Google buys YouTube for $ 1.6 billion, a wise investment when we know the popularity of the video hosting service.
  • November 2007, in response to Apple’s operating system, Google unveiled Android.
  • November 2008, the Internet browser Chrome is presented, it will quickly prevail and surpass Internet Explorer.
  • January 2010, the first “Google Phone” is unveiled. This is the Nexus One developed in collaboration with HTC.
  • August 2015, a major reorganization is launched, Google becomes a subsidiary of the Alphabet Group.

Google has now set the course for artificial intelligence by buying many companies, including DeepMind. Investments are also important in the automobile (autonomous cars, infotainment), connected objects, health, biotechnologies.

The dark side of Google?

A web that extends and which is worth several convictions including anti-competitive practices and abuse of dominant position The latest – imposed by the European Commission – is $ 4.3 billion. In 2017, Google’s revenue exceeds $ 100 billion. An income that comes mostly from online advertising.

Lately, several controversies have tarnished the image of the group. The American firm has thus developed a specific version of its search engine to prepare for its return to the Chinese market after 8 years of absence. Internally known as “Dragonfly”, this version would link accounts and queries with users’ phone numbers for the government to carry out checks and would be compliant with the large Chinese firewall that is synonymous with censorship.

Back on its core business, research

Google will propose in the coming weeks new features to improve the search system and the relevance of queries. To do this, the American firm will rely on AI and offer more complete results. For example, a person looking for a dog breed will also have information on how to look after it.

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image credit : Journal du Geek
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