Google.com turns 18, must confront the pangs of adulthood as it faces off with specific-search apps
It’s been 18 years since Google Search first came to be—the Google.com domain was registered on September 15, 1997, after founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page decided the search engine they had developed in Stanford University could no longer go by the name BackRub. When Sun Microsystems co-founder and investor Andy Bechtolsheim gave the company its first major investor cheque, it didn’t even have an account to its name. But, in three years, it had become the world’s largest search engine and continues to be so. Of course, now, with computing shifting from PCs to mobiles, Google Search has had to fight it out with specific-search apps—for almost everything, from movies and restaurants to retail deals.
However, Google has given a worthy fight. Recently, its mobile search exceeded PC search in 10 countries, indicating that though the device may have changed—and opened up a new list of competitors—Google is managing the transition well so far. Meanwhile, Google Search has had some weight shifted off its shoulders, thanks to corporate restructuring leaving it unshackled of the host of futuristic businesses—from space mining to human longevity technology—as also its financial wings, Google Capital and Ventures. And reminiscent of a rite of passage, just before its 18th birthday, Google.com got a new logo. With mobile telephony, Internet of Things et al changing the entire digitalscape, Google must prove now that it is ready for adulthood.