Founded in a Stanford University lab by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google was originally built to try and make sense of the Internet's links in a more cohesive structure. Page, the current CEO, dreamed up the project to take the back link data the duo's Web crawler project had found and put into an order of importance, using what later became known as the PageRank algorithm.
From there, a search engine was built in 1996, and the domain google.com was registered on Sept. 15, 1997. Google, the company, would become incorporated in September 1998, with the look of the home page remaining the same throughout time, due to users liking its simple design.
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Fast forward to 2004, and after receiving millions of dollars in venture capital funding, Google was getting ready to go public, as it surpassed other search engines in popularity, including Yahoo! (YHOO) , Excite, Lycos, AskJeeves, and others.
Google offered stock at $85 a share, selling more than 14 million shares from the company itself, and more than 5 million from existing shareholders, raising $1.67 billion in the process. Shares went public in perhaps one of the most unusual ways -- in a modified Dutch auction, managed by investment banks Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. Though Wall Street was initially less than pleased, Google has been more than kind to investors, having generated more than a 1,000% return since going public.
From driverless cars to mobile search to trying (and failing) to make inroads into social networking, Google has done some incredible things over the years. Here's a look at just a few of the most important events and announcements of Google's life as a public company and how, in most cases, TheStreet covered them: