Google 21st Birthday: When Was Google Founded?

If Google was a human, it would now be legally allowed to drink in the United States because it's celebrating its 21st birthday.

Google, a popular search engine, was founded 21 years ago in 1998. Although it wasn't founded on this exact date all those years ago, and Google has celebrated its founding on multiple different dates, recently the company selected September 27 as its "birthday."

Its founding goes back to 1995 when Larry Page was considering Stanford University for graduate school and student Sergey Brin was assigned to show him around. While in their dorm rooms, they built a search engine which was originally called Backrub. Backrub later was renamed Google and in 1998, Andy Bechtolsheim wrote the two men a check for $100,000 to get Google, Inc. off the ground.

Moving to a garage in Menlo Park, California, Google debuted their first Doodle in August 1998, as well. Looking a bit different from the highly animated Doodles the company produces today, it was a stick figure in the logo that told visitors staff members were at the Burning Man Festival.

google 21st birthday when was google founded
In this photo illustration, the Google logo is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of a computer screen showing a Google logo on March 20 in Paris. Google was incorporated in September and most recently, Google has celebrated its birthday on September 27. Chesnot/Getty

It's unclear if Google will celebrate its big day with a Doodle, but the company did put one out for its 20th birthday. The Doodle showed people around the world typing their questions into the search bar, which included, What is Google? What will happen on Y2K? Is Pluto still a planet? and What is auto-tune? It ended with a thank-you message to its users, which was written in multiple languages.

Google also did a Doodle in previous years and for its 15th birthday it came with a message accompanying the Doodle, employee Ryan Germick acknowledged the changing date of the company's birthday celebrations.

"When's Google's birthday? I'm not sure even we know – we've celebrated on September 7th, 8th, 26th, and, most recently the 27th," Germick wrote.

The employee added that the first Doodle was posted on the website before Google was incorporated, which took place in September 1998.

In the decades since its founding, Google has expanded its capabilities to include new features and search capabilities. One feature that Google implemented in the years since its inception was the ability to view trending topics. In 2018, the top five searches were: World Cup, Hurricane Florence, Mac Miller, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

Once dwarfed by other search engines like Lycos and AltaVista, Google has also grown financially. Alphabet, Google's parent company, is worth an estimated $762.5 billion, according to Business Insider.