What Google Looked Like 25 Years Ago

Google's 25th Birthday!

September 27, 2023: Google celebrated their 25th birthday!  That means September 27, 1998 was the day they began providing internet search to the world. Their website design was simple, but there was much more behind technology that powered this newly developed search engine.  Let’s have a look at the first images of Google 25 years ago.

We’ll also explore how the Google logo has changed over the years. Google began as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in January 1996. The two were PhD students at Stanford University in California, USA.

This was how simple Google.com looked 25 years ago

It contained a welcome message and two web links.

Image of Google's First Website 1998

The top link (Google Search Engine Prototype) directed users to the first version of Google’s search engine.  It was hosted on a subdomain on Stanford University’s website:  http://google.stanford.edu
First Google Search engine hosted on Stanford edu website

The second link on the original Welcome to Google website mentioned a more up-to-date prototype was to a more up-to-date version of Google’s search capabilities.  It was hosted on the Google web domain on a sub-domain: http://alpha.google.com
Google Beta 1998

Google’s Simple Beginnings

As you can see, Google had very simple beginnings to their website design.  However, the internet was new and websites were focused on providing access worldwide information.  This is why domains started with www, which stands for world wide web.

Google was not the first search engine.  There were others before it, but Google’s idea for search was a new idea.  They wanted to improve speed and relevancy for search terms entered.  This meant offering more relevant websites.

From Wikipedia:  “While conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, Larry Page and Sergey Brin theorized about a better system that analyzed the relationships among websites. They called this algorithm PageRank.  It determined a website’s relevance by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages that linked back to the original site.  Page told his ideas to Hassan, who began writing the code to implement Page’s ideas.

Throughout the years, there have been many Google logo changes and the creation of Google Doodles by many artists and Doodle games that have been incorporated into the log.

A few months later in February 1999, Google was now on their main url at google.com looked like this:
Google in 1999

Then in April 1999….
Google April 1999

Google in October of 1999…
Google website and logo, October 1999

Google one year later in 2000…
Google 2000

And the rest is history as many other changes were to come over the next 25 years. This included new designs to define their image, as well as updates to their algorithm to provide the most relevant search results for users.

So, on this 25th Birthday Celebration of Google, we wish you Happy (and safe) Searching! See the progression of Google logos and Doodles through the years at https://www.google.com/doodles/googles-25th-birthday.

Google images are from The Wayback Machine – Internet Archive.

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