Raksasa internet Google seperti tak yakin dengan hari ulang tahunnya sendiri. Mulai dari kerjasama pertama Brin-Page di Januari 1996, pendaftaran nama domain Google di 15 September 1997 atau mulainya perusahaan 7 September 1998. Pastinya, Google kerap merayakan pada 27 September atau ‘tergantung kapan karyawan mau makan kue’.

“As a founder of Sun Microsystems, Andy Bechtolsheim was used to taking the long view. When he saw a demo of Google he knew it had potential. A lot of potential. While he had interest, he didn’t have a lot of time. According to Sergey, ‘We met him very early one morning on the porch of a Stanford faculty member’s home in Palo Alto. We gave him a quick demo. He had to run off somewhere, so he said, instead of us discussing all the details, why don’t I just write you a check? It was made out to Google Inc. and was for $100,000.’

“The investment created a small dilemma. There was no way to deposit the check since there was no legal entity known as ‘Google Inc.’ It sat in Larry’s desk drawer for a couple of weeks while he and Sergey scrambled to set up a corporation and locate a few other funders among family, friends and acquaintances. Ultimately, they brought in a total initial investment of almost $1 million.”

Google, Inc. was established on On September 7, 1998. Following traditional silicon valley protocol, the founders hired Craig Silverstein, now Director of Technology, as their first employee, and set up shop in a friend’s garage. Google at the time was still in alpha, with an index of just 25 million pages, but it was handling 10,000 search queries every day.

The company grew quickly, and on June 7 1999, the company announced that it had secured a round of funding that included $25 million from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers.

The rest, as they say, is history. The official history page has all these details, and more.

Google History

Google Timeline

Google Search Engine Prototype

An Internet Archive screen shot of Google in prototype version, from November 11, 1998, including a “Might-work-some-of-the-time-prototype that is much more up to date.” (Note: The Internet Archive periodically does maintenance, and historical pages aren’t always available. If you get an error message, try again later).

Though Google is one of the most popular search engines today, it’s far from the oldest. Yahoo is nearly ten, and AltaVista, Inktomi and Lycos are also comparative old-timers. Watch tomorrow’s SearchDay for more search engine birthdays.