Google's Birthday Is September 27

By
Wed, 12 Sep 2018

Google is the most popular search engine in the world, and has been for years. But when, exactly, was the search engine first created? While the company itself celebrates on September 27th, there are a number of different milestones that could just as easily be used as their "birthday." In this guide, we look into some of the important dates in Google's history. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

What Dates Has Google Celebrated as its Birthday?

Google has put up a doodle to celebrate its birthday every year since their 4th birthday in 2002. But they haven't always been consistent with what date they use.

Google's Age Year Date
4 years old 2002 September 27th
5 years old 2003 September 8th
6 years old 2004 September 7th
7 years old 2005 September 26th
8 years old 2006 September 27th
9 years old 2007 September 27th
10 years old 2008 September 27th
11 years old 2009 September 27th
12 years old 2010 September 27th
13 years old 2011 September 27th
14 years old 2012 September 27th
15 years old 2013 September 27th
16 years old 2014 September 27th
17 years old 2015 September 27th
18 years old 2016 September 27th
19 years old 2017 September 27th

Some of Google's Important Milestones

  • 1995: Co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page meet at Stanford University
  • 1996: Brin & Page create a search engine, originally called BackRub
  • Sept. 15, 1997: Google's domain is officially created
  • March, 1999: Google moves from a garage to a real office
  • 2001: Eric Schmidt joins as CEO

The History of Google

Conclusion

Whenever you choose to observe Google's birthday, it's clear that the company has grown quite a bit since then. What was once a side project for two college students is now a multi-billion dollar industry with all kinds of search tools and products. But no matter how big it gets, Google always seems to hang onto its sense of whimsy, as evidenced by the many doodles and easter eggs that keep the site fun. So it seems likely that the company will continue to celebrate its birthday for years to come, probably on September 27th.

In Depth

Google's birthday has been a topic of confusion for many years. The date has changed several times, and the year can be different depending on what you consider to be the beginning of the company. Currently, the anniversary of its existence is celebrated on September 27th. According to Google, the search engine celebrated 19 years in 2017. But at least six other days have been observed as its birthday in the past.

Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University in 1995. At first, they did not get along at all and claim they found each other "obnoxious." They spent a lot of time arguing and debating, but became friends over time. The two soon discovered a mutual interest in organizing the information on the internet.

Page and Brin started the company out of their dorm rooms. Their homemade server eventually started to use up so much of the university's bandwidth that Stanford would not allow them to continue using the school's network. They found a garage to rent and ran the site from there. The owner of the garage, Susan Wojcicki, later became the head of YouTube. The company began as a web crawler called BackRub, which searched the internet for links between pages. Its aim was to make search engines better by using the number of links to provide more relevant search results. Soon, the founders decided to create their own search engine instead and changed the name to Google.

Their homemade server eventually started to use up so much of the university's bandwidth that Stanford would not allow them to continue using the school's network.

The name comes from the word "googol," which is the number one with a hundred zeroes after it. It represents the amount of data Page and Brin were trying to organize with their algorithm. While 1998 is Google's officially recognized birth year, the domain was created on September 15, 1997. There was so much interest in the project that the two founders decided to drop out of grad school and pursue it full time. They incorporated about a year later with one hundred thousand dollars from a Silicon Valley investor.

In March of 1999, Google moved its headquarters from the small garage to an office in Palo Alto, California. Several other successful startups also had workspaces here, including PayPal and Logitech. It is now known as "the luckiest building in Silicon Valley." In 2001, Eric Schmidt joined the team as CEO to allow Page and Brin to focus on the technology without worrying about the business side of the company. The same year, Google opened its first international office in Tokyo, Japan.

There are many milestones in Google's history, so it's understandable that its official birthdate is a topic of debate. In 2013, the company itself admitted that they don't really know the exact date. But for the last several years, September 27 has been celebrated. The reason they chose to stick with this day is mostly because it's the anniversary of their first birthday doodle.

But for the last several years, September 27 has been celebrated.

Every year, Google marks its birthday with a special graphic on the homepage at google.com. These animations, called doodles, are reserved for significant days, such as holidays and historic events. The very first one was a simple stick figure added to the company's logo on August 30, 1998 to announce that the employees were all attending the Burning Man festival. But the doodles have gotten much more complex since then. Some of them are animated or even contain games that you can play. If you're logged in to a Google account, you'll see a special customized doodle on your own birthday.

The doodle for Google's 19th birthday was a spinning wheel that contained a surprise for each year of the company's history. Each time you spin it, you get the option to view one of the best doodles from past years. One selection is a game that commemorates the first delivery ever made by the Pony Express. You can also play a fun Halloween game as a cat casting spells to ward off ghosts.

From a tiny garage to some of the largest data centers in the world, Google has come a long way in 19 years. Its birthday may have changed a lot in the past, but it seems that they have finally landed on a date that's going to stick. Be sure to check the homepage on September 27 to see what the next celebratory doodle will be.

Its birthday may have changed a lot in the past, but it seems that they have finally landed on a date that's going to stick.