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July 15, 2007

Google's Evolution as Seen on Wikipedia

Wikipedia's page for Google changed a lot as Google morphed from a search engine to an Internet company. The Wayback Machine is a good way to see how a web page evolved over time and it's easier to browse than Wikipedia's own history service. I only included the introduction of each version of the article and Google's homepage from the same period.

December 2003



Google is an Internet search engine that not only indexes the World Wide Web, but also caches the web pages themselves. It also indexes pictures on the web, Usenet newsgroups and news sites. As of 2003, it was the most popular search engine, handling upwards of 80% of all internet searches through its website and clients like Yahoo! and AOL.


July 2004



Google is the most popular search engine on the World Wide Web. Through its website and client websites, such as AOL, Google receives roughly 200 million search requests per day. Google has its headquarters (called the "Googleplex") in Mountain View, California, USA.

In addition to web pages, Google also provides services for searching images, Usenet newsgroups, news sites, and items for sale online. As of June 2004, Google contained 4.28 billion web pages, 880 million images and 845 million Usenet messages in its index; a total of 6 billion items. It also caches much of the content that it indexes.


December 2004



Google is a U.S.-based search engine owned by Google Inc. whose mission "is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." The largest search engine on the web, Google receives over 200 million queries each day through its various services.

In addition to its tool for searching webpages, Google also provides services for searching images, Usenet newsgroups, news websites, and items for sale online. As of November 2004, Google has indexed 8.05 billion webpages, 880 million images, and 845 million Usenet messages — in total, over 9.5 billion items. It also caches much of the content that it indexes. Some of the other programs that operate under Google control include Blogger, Picasa, Keyhole, Froogle, and Google Desktop Search.


March 2005



Google, Inc. is a U.S.-based corporation, established in 1998, that manages the Google search engine. Google is headquartered at the "Googleplex" in Mountain View, California, and employs over 3,000 workers. Google's CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt, formerly CEO of Novell, took over when co-founder Larry Page stepped down.


March 2006



Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is a U.S. public corporation, first incorporated as a privately held corporation in September, 1998, that designs and manages the Internet Google search engine. The company employs approximately 5,700 employees and is based in Mountain View, California. Eric Schmidt, formerly chief executive officer of Novell, was named Google's CEO when co-founder Larry Page stepped down.

The name "Google" is a play on the word "googol," which refers to the number represented by 1 followed by one hundred zeros. As a further play on this, Google's headquarters, located in California, are referred to as "the Googleplex" — a googolplex being 1 followed by a googol of zeros, and the HQ being a complex of buildings (cf. multiplex, cineplex, etc).

Google's services are run on several server farms, each consisting of many thousand low-cost commodity computers running stripped-down versions of Linux. While the company does not provide detailed information about its hardware, it was estimated in 2005 that they were using more than 100,000 Linux machines. See Google platform for more details on their technology.


July 2006



Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG and LSE: GGEA) is an American multinational software corporation, first incorporated as a privately held corporation in September, 1998, that specializes in search engine, information retrieval technology and online advertising. With a market capitalization of US$118.32 billion as of June 2006, Google is the largest internet search company in the world, almost twice as large as rival Yahoo! The company employs approximately 6,800 employees and is based in Mountain View, California. Eric Schmidt, formerly chief executive officer of Novell, was named Google's CEO when co-founder Larry Page stepped down.

The name "Google" originated from a misspelling of "googol," which refers to 10^100 (a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros). Google has become well known for its corporate culture and innovative, clean products, and has a major impact on online culture. The verb "to google" has come to mean "to perform a Web search", usually with the Google search engine.

Google's services are run on several server farms, which, in 2004, consisted of over 30 clusters of up to 2,000 PCs per cluster. Each cluster contains one petabyte of data with sustained transfer rates of 2 Gbps. Combined, over four billion web pages, averaging 10 Kb each, have been fully indexed.


November 2006



Google, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG and LSE: GGEA) is an American public corporation and search engine, first incorporated as a privately held company on 7 September 1998. The company had 9,378 full-time employees as of September 30, 2006 and is based in Mountain View, California. Eric Schmidt, former chief executive officer of Novell, was named Google's CEO when co-founder Larry Page stepped down.

The name "Google" originated from a misspelling of "googol," which refers to 10^100 (a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros). Google has had a major impact on online culture. The verb "google" was recently added to both the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary, meaning "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet."

Google's services are run on several server farms, each consisting of thousands of low-cost commodity computers running stripped-down versions of Linux. While the company does not provide detailed information about its hardware, a 2006 estimate consisted of over 450,000 servers, racked up in clusters located in data centers around the world (See Google platform for more details on their technology). According to the Nielsen cabinet, Google is the most used search engine on the web with a 54% market share, ahead of Yahoo! (23%) and MSN (13%). However, independent estimates from popular sites indicate that more than 80% of search referrals come from Google, with Yahoo! a distant second and MSN occupying barely 5%. The Google search engine receives about a billion search requests per day.


June 2007



Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG and LSE: GGEA) is an American public corporation, specializing in Internet searching and online advertising. The company is based in Mountain View, California, and has 12,238 full-time employees (as of March 31, 2007). Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Google's corporate philosophy includes statements such as, "You can make money without doing evil," and, "Work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun," illustrating a somewhat relaxed corporate culture.

Google was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University, and the company was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 7, 1998. Google's initial public offering took place on August 19, 2004, raising USD1.67 billion, making it worth $23 billion. Through a series of new product developments, acquisitions and partnerships, the company has expanded its initial search and advertising business into other areas, including web-based email, online mapping, office productivity, and video sharing, among others.

Like most large corporations, Google's businesses have drawn some controversy, such as copyright disputes in its book search project, or censorship by Google of search results as it works with countries such as France, Germany, and China -- each of whom have laws requiring the company hide information from Google users in their country. Additionally, in the post September 11 era, several governments and militaries have raised concerns about the national security risks posed by vivid geographic details provided by Google Earth's satellite imaging. However, it should be noted that all of the images and details visible in Google Earth are available through other public, free sources; Google Earth does, however, make it easier to access.

28 comments:

  1. I love how little the interface has changed. But really, couldn't they introduce some graphic based submit buttons? Those default ones are so clunky.

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  2. Nice post, looking back at the phases of google is really interesting. I disagree with msg quixo though, I love the simple look of googles main page and I hope it doesn't change too much.

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  3. Not everything on the web has to be graphic intensive. You can keep all the glitz and bling. Give me fast running and clean any day.

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  4. Google no longer shows results beyond the first 1000. If you enter "google" into Google you're told there are over a billion matching pages but "Sorry, Google does not serve more than 1000 results for any query" comes up after page 1000. Any "search" engine that only lets you access less than a millionth of the pages found is just an advertising engine and its days are numbered (at less than a thousand!).

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  5. Google has gone from an obscure math term to a household word. We can only marvel at the simplicity that has driven it. Their willingness to allow empolyees 20% of their time to "dabble" is outstanding! dt www.davetilma.com

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  6. Google is expanding everywhere! I just found out about rumours of a google PHONE, with stuff like voice recognition texts, your phone has its own webpage. how cool is that!

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  7. "Google no longer shows results beyond the first 1000."

    You really missed the point, not a lot of people would browse through the 100th page. And unless you're very bad at making words for queries, you should have found your results in the first 50 results as their sorting engine is extremely advanced.

    The reason why serving more than 1000 first result is obvious, Google is basically saying this: "if you can't find it in this first 1000 result, very likely that we have misunderstood your query and the next one million queries would also be irrelevant, please reword your queries and don't waste your time browsing through all these queries."

    And not only that, there are security concerns too. The only people who would normally browse through the first 1000 queries is likely data miners trying to search through all data about a particular something that isn't always good. By limiting search result, they're preventing them from getting too much information.

    On the backend, by limiting to 1000 results, they save their processing power a lot while serving (nearly) everyone well enough.

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  8. Google no longer shows results beyond the first 1000. If you enter "google" into Google you're told there are over a billion matching pages but "Sorry, Google does not serve more than 1000 results for any query" comes up after page 1000.

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  9. There is no point saying I found a million pages, while you let me see only 1000. It's cheating. "I have a hundred toys, but I will show you only five".
    Instead why not say, "Boss, here are the [1000] results for your query" ?

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  10. It's just a limitation and that number is only an estimation. Most people don't even go past the first page of search results, so displaying the top 1000 results should more than sufficient. You'll also notice that the quality of search results decreases considerably after the first 40-50 results. To find other good results, use a more specific query.

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  11. I agree with anonymous when he says ..
    There is no point saying I found a million pages, while you let me see only 1000. It's cheating. "I have a hundred toys, but I will show you only five".
    Instead why not say, "Boss, here are the [1000] results for your query" ?

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  12. That estimation could be valuable because it gives information about the popularity of a subject: for example, there are 213,000 results for [Microsoft Popfly] and 725,000 results for [Yahoo Pipes], so more people are interested in Yahoo's application.

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  13. I think the >1000 point is moot, I have my pages set to show 100, and if I cant get the right result in that amount (more often a few flicks of the scroll wheel call it 30~50) I have got the search term wrong and need to create a better one.

    I very much doubt that many see the amount that I do with 100 shown, but if some feel that its a big deal what about a pref's switch, or +(max == >1001) search term for the few willing to look that far ...or I expect nothing else to do ;)

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  14. There's a perfectly good reason to show how many entries it found, even if it can't display them.

    Those of us who actually understand how to use a search engine can use this to tune our searches.

    There is no possible reason to want to see more than 1000 entries, unless you're data mining or have some form of OCD. It certainly doesn't make them "just an advertising company" as most people would never check that many results.

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  15. Google rocks. If they ANT TO SHOW 10, 100, 1000 RESULTS, its up to google, they own the search engine, not the public. When you go shopping, every store doesn't have every product, so google is just one "store" you can always go on yahoo, or something.

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  16. I don't know where your getting the idea that google doesn't show more than 100 results anymore.. I just went to www.google.com and searched for "car" and quit looking after 640 results.

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  17. Google doesn't show more than the first 1000 results, not 100.

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  18. i have updated thier Evolution in my site

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  19. i have updated Google evolution in my website

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  20. I really need more than 1000 results on each query. What search engine I shall use for this?

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  21. It's amazing how what started out as a simple search engine has revolutionized the world wide web. Google and its many products has definitely become part and parcel of my browsing experience. Personally, I have no problem if Google shows less than a 1000 search results. I usually find what I need within the first 10 results.

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  22. is there a way to see all the 1000 results in my first page itself??

    Freddie

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  23. I dunno... it's just a search engine... hypotetically, if they didn't exist/ceased to exist, the general public would quite easily just migrate to another search engine.

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  24. Anyone who says there is no possible reason to want to access more results than that unless you are a freak of some sort up to no good is clearly a person of limited intelligence. I expect they might say something equally inane like there is no need for more than 100 cows in the world as that is more than I can possibly eat in my lifetime. If I haven't had my fill by then I'm probably eating the wrong food.
    I found myself at google's 1000 limit because I had forgotten the exact sequence of words to find a picture I had mislaid. However I knew its name and exact size, but Google still came up with more results than it could show me and I had not found the picture in those first thousand results. It only had 300 more to show me, but refused.
    I think Google should just change it's name as clearly it is having a hard time living up to its promises. Unless you take it literally, one and a thousand noughts.

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  25. I think those guys are right. I think Google is going down. LOL!!!! ROFL!!! How gullible can one be? Can you not see these guys are just trying to irritate you? Watch as Google and their balance between user feedback, open source and advertising driven marketing approach replaces nearly everything have to do with an operating system. If you can't see by now how welcome Google's marketing model is then you never will.

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  26. Google is being used by more and more people though. It's proven with inputs every year. theres 13 billion searches every year.

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  27. As for Google's evolution, are we at Google 3.0?

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  28. Google is evolving to become a force in Communications, Content, Commerce and Applications.

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