Google celebrates 21st birthday with a Doodle – CNET

Google turns 21 years old.

Google

Google is legal! Well, to buy a beer anyway. While the legality of some of its other activities is a point of contention among certain state and federal entities, the web giant is celebrating its 21st birthday on Friday with a retro Doodle.

The Doodle shows you what a typical desktop computer looked like 21 years ago when Stanford Ph.D. students and Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page published a paper called The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine. In it, the pair outlined Google, a prototype "large-scale search engine" that had a database of "at least 24 million pages."

"We chose our system name, Google, because it is a common spelling of googol, or 10100, and fits well with our goal of building very large-scale search engines," the pair wrote in the paper's introduction.

In the 21 years since Brin and Page outlined their vision for a search engine, the company has grown up dramatically. Google's search engine now indexes hundreds of billions of webpages, but the company has gone from humble beginnings as a search engine to the most dominant force in advertising. Google now has a parent company, Alphabet, with tentacles that touch everything from self-driving cars to its Android mobile software to the extension of life.

But don't look too closely at Google's birth certificate. The company has celebrated its birthday on Sept. 27 since 2006, but the previous year, it celebrated its birthday on Sept. 26, and in 2004 and 2003, the date was Sept. 7 and Sept. 8, respectively. Google isn't even sure why this is, especially since it was incorporated on Sept. 4, 1998.

Regardless, happy birthday to a company that, for better or worse, helped usher in the information age.

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