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Google Fast Facts

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Here’s a look at Google, Inc.


The name Google is a play on the word “googol,” a mathematical term referring to a 1 followed by 100 zeros (represented as 1 x 10100).

Alphabet, Inc., Google’s parent company, employed 186,779 people as of September 30, 2022.

Statistics from December 2022 show that Google owns approximately 84% of the world market share of search engines.

Is one of many sites currently blocked in China.


1995 – Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin meet at Stanford.

1996 – Page and Brin collaborate on a search engine called BackRub. It exists solely on Stanford’s servers and eventually outgrows its space.

September 15, 1997 – is registered as a domain.

August 1998 – Andy Bechtolsteim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, becomes the first investor in Google, Inc.

September 4, 1998 – Google, Inc. files for incorporation with its headquarters in friend and current YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s garage in Menlo Park.

February 1999 – Google gets its first real office in Palo Alto, California. Later in the year they move to Mountain View, California.

May 2000 – Launches web searches in ten new languages.

March 2001 – Eric Schmidt joins the company as chairman of the board of directors

July 2001 – Google Images launches with 250 million searchable images.

August 2001 – Schmidt becomes CEO, while Page becomes President of Products and Brin becomes President of Technology.

September 2002 – Google News launches with 4,000 news sources.

February 2003 – Acquires Pyra Labs, creators of Blogger.

December 2003 – Google Books launches.

March 2004 – The headquarters moves into the Googleplex.

April 1, 2004 – Gmail launches on April Fools’ Day despite it being a real email service.

July 2004 – Acquires Picasa, an online photo arranger, from Idealab.

August 19, 2004 – Conducts an initial public offering on NASDAQ. The offering raises about $1.2 billion for the company.

October 2004 – Google Scholar, a service that allows user to search scholarly literature, launches with The University of Michigan, Stanford, Harvard and Oxford universities, as well as the New York Public Library behind it.

February 2005 – Google Maps launches.

June 2005 – Google Earth launches, allowing users to view satellite imagery of any place in the world.

August 2005 – Google Talk launches, becoming Google’s first instant messenger.

October 2006 – Acquires YouTube for $1.65 billion and launches Google Docs, an online application for creating documents.

November 2007 – Launches Android OS, an open source mobile device platform.

September 2008 – The G1, the first Android phone, is unveiled by T-Mobile.

September 2, 2008 – Google Chrome, a web browser, launches.

March 2009 – Google Voice launches. It gives you a phone number which you can set to ring any phone in the United States.

October 2009 – Google Maps Navigation launches allowing turn-by-turn GPS navigation.

April 4, 2011 – Page resumes CEO title after 10 years away, while Schmidt becomes executive chairman.

April 4, 2012 – Unveils Project Glass, an initiative to develop a wearable device. The device later debuts as Google Glass.

July 2013 – Releases Chromecast, a device that connects to your TV and allows sites like Netflix to be shown from phones, tablets and computers.

March 18, 2014 – Announces Android Wear, an initiative to bring Android technology to smartwatches.

January 19, 2015 – Withdraws Google Glass from the marketplace.

August 10, 2015 – Announces a corporate restructuring, forming an umbrella company called Alphabet and naming Sundar Pichai as the new CEO to the core business of Google. Co-founders Page and Brin will run Alphabet, with Page as CEO and Brin as president.

October 2, 2015 – Announces that its restructuring will happen at the end of the day. Alphabet will become the parent company of separate, smaller companies, one of which is Google.

October 31, 2017 – Representatives from Google, Facebook and Twitter testify before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism as legislators continue to probe Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

June 27, 2017 – Is fined $2.7 billion for breaching European Union antitrust rules. The European Commission found that the tech giant denied “consumers a genuine choice” by using its search engine to unfairly steer them to its own shopping platform.

October 9, 2017 – The Washington Post reports that Google has found evidence of Russian accounts that purchased tens of thousands of dollars in advertisements in order to interfere with the 2016 election.

December 21, 2017 – The company announces that Schmidt is stepping aside as executive chairman of Alphabet. He will remain on the board and continue to serve as a technical adviser.

July 18, 2018 – Is ordered by the European Commission to pay €4.34 billion ($5 billion) for unfairly pushing its apps on smartphone users and thwarting competitors. In addition to the fine, Google is ordered to stop the practices within 90 days or face additional penalties.

March 20, 2019 – The European Commission orders Google to pay €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominant position in online search advertising. The Commission found that Google blocked its rivals from placing advertisements on third party websites by imposing exclusivity clauses in AdSense contracts.

September 4, 2019 – The Federal Trade Commission announces that Google has agreed to pay a record $170 million penalty to settle accusations that YouTube broke the law when it knowingly tracked and sold ads targeted to children.

September 6, 2019 – Google’s parent company, Alphabet, says in a notice to investors that on August 30 it received a mandatory request from the Justice Department for information and documents concerning the company’s prior antitrust investigations. The disclosure marks the first public acknowledgment by Google and its parent that they are directly involved with the DOJ’s review of the biggest players in Silicon Valley, which was announced in July.

September 9, 2019 – A group of 50 attorneys general from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico unveil a major antitrust investigation of Google. The probe will focus on whether Google (GOOG) has harmed competition and consumers, looking at least initially into the company’s conduct in its search, advertising and other businesses.

November 11, 2019 – The US Supreme Court agrees to take up a major copyright case against Google. The justices will consider a lower court ruling that said Google violated copyright laws when it used Oracle’s open-source Java software to build the Android platform.

December 3, 2019 – Alphabet announces that Page and Brin are stepping down as CEO and president, respectively. The co-founders will continue to serve on Alphabet’s board of directors.

July 29, 2020 – Pichai, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg all testify before a House subcommittee on antitrust to address concerns that their businesses may be harming competition.

October 20, 2020 – The DOJ sues Google, alleging the tech company has stifled competition in order to maintain its leading position in the marketplace. Eleven states have joined the lawsuit in what is the largest antitrust case against a tech company in more than two decades.

December 16, 2020 Ten states sue Google, alleging anti-competitive practices in the advertising technology industry.

December 17, 2020 As many as 38 state attorneys general file a lawsuit against Google. The suit alleges that the company has operated an illegal monopoly in the markets for online search and search advertising.

January 4, 2021 According to a press release, hundreds of employees at Google and Alphabet have launched a union. The Alphabet Workers’ Union will be run by employees and open both to full-time workers and contractors.

April 5, 2021 – The US Supreme Court rules in favor of Google in the fair use case against Oracle. In its 6-2 decision, the court holds that Google using “only those lines of code that were needed” to build its Android operating system “was a fair use of that material as a matter of law.”

January 25, 2022 – Announces its second attempt at enabling advertisers to buy ads based on users’ browsing interests without having to rely on what it has described as privacy-invasive tracking cookies. Google wants to block tracking cookies in its Chrome web browser by the end of next year, which would prevent advertising companies from logging the websites someone is visiting.

April 7, 2022 – Introduces a new search feature that lets users combine text and images in a single query. The feature, which the company calls “multisearch” is now available for US users within the Google Lens part of Google’s mobile app.

November 14, 2022 – Google agrees to a record $391.5 million settlement with 40 states for allegedly misleading consumers over its location tracking practices since 2014. The coalition of attorneys general making the announcement describe it as the largest multi-state privacy settlement in US history.

January 24, 2023 – The Justice Department and eight states sue Google, accusing the company of harming competition with its dominance in the online advertising market and calling for it to be broken up.

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