Monday, September 28, 2009

Google celebrates 11th birthday

Google marked its eleventh birthday on Sunday with a redesigned logo which displayed "Goog11e". However the search engine giant's actual birthday is somewhat in dispute. Last year, Google put up its 10th birthday logo on the 2nd September and, according to Wikipedia, Google was incorporated as a privately held company on the 4th September 1998. Google could also choose to celebrate on the 15th September, the date when founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered Google's domain name while they were still PhD students at Stanford University.

Google actually began as a research project as far back as January 1996 though it did not become publicly available until sometime later. Originally, the search engine used the Stanford University website with the domain The domain was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated as Google Inc. on September 4 1998 at a friend's garage in Menlo Park, California.

The company has now become a household name and if often described as the world's favourite search engine. In China it still struggles however as it faces stiff competition from locally based Baidu as well as continued interference by government censors.

Google's name originated from the misspelling of the word 'googol', the name applied to a one followed by 100 zeros. The company has been busy changing its logos in recent weeks. A series of logos depicting UFOs had many on the Internet puzzling over Google's hidden message until all was revealed with one depicting Martian spaceships on what would have been the author H.G. Wells 143rd birthday. Wells is well known for his book the War of the Worlds.

Google often marks key events with logo changes, a click on which takes the Internet user to a Google search for the subject in question. Today they marked the birthday of Chinese philosopher Confucious. He would be 2,560 today. One of Confucious's well known quotations is, "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others" (己所不欲,勿施於人). This is very much in line with Google's own unofficial company slogan of "Don't be evil". 

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