Google is marking its teenage years by turning its home page into a birthday party scene.Surrounded by multi-coloured balloons and streamers, its logo is adorned with party hats and sits behind a table heaped with wrapped presents and a large white birthday cake with 13 candles.
Although Google’s founders Stanford University graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin built their first search engine in 1996, it was not until 1998 when the graduated with PhDs that they formalised their research and created Google.
The company filed for incorporation on September 4, 1998, and the Google.com domain was registered on September 15. The search engine officially celebrates its birthday on September 27.
The pair came up with the name as a play on the word “googol”, the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros.
“The name reflects the immense volume of information that exists and the scope of Google’s mission: To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” claims Google.
The anniversary comes at a time when the company faces increasing legislative scrutiny and is locked in intense rivalries with the social networking site Facebook and smart phone operator Apple.
The search engine recently launched its Google+ social networking service to all users, in an effort to counter Facebook’s rising popularity.
However, other research shows that Google enjoys a 90 per cent share of the global internet search market and over 30% of the smart phone OS market.