Google began as a research project in January, 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two Ph.D. students at Stanford University, California.
They hypothesized that a search engine that analyzed the relationships between websites would produce better results than existing techniques (existing search engines at the time essentially ranked results according to how many times the search term appeared on a page).
It was originally nicknamed “BackRub” because the system checked backlinks to estimate a site’s importance.
A small search engine called RankDex was already exploring a similar strategy. Convinced that the pages with the most links to them from other highly relevant web pages must be the most relevant pages associated with the search, Page and Brin tested their thesis as part of their studies, and laid the foundation for their search engine.
Originally the search engine used the Stanford University website with the domain google.stanford.edu. The domain google.com was registered on September 14, 1997, and the company was incorporated as Google Inc. on September 7, 1998 at a friend’s garage in Menlo Park, California.
The total initial investment raised for the new company eventually amounted to almost US$1.1 million, including a $100,000 check by Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems.
In March, 1999, the company moved into offices at 165 University Avenue in Palo Alto, home to several other noted Silicon Valley technology startups. After quickly outgrowing two other sites, the company settled into their current home in a complex of buildings in Mountain View at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, also in 1999. The complex has since become known as the Googleplex (a play on the word googolplex, a 1 followed by a googol of zeros). Silicon Graphics leased the buildings to Google.
Google has created the opportunity for many new digital marketing agencies, who now offer Internet marketing and search engine optimisation services.