Particularly to illustrate their meteoric rise, some large companies in the tech industry often say that they had their simple beginnings in a garage. This is also the case with Google. The company from a garage in Menlo Park, California, is celebrating its 25th birthday today, September 4th.

In 1996, Google developers and founders Larry Page (50) and Sergey Brin (50), who had met the year before at Stanford University, initially began working on the search engine “Backrub”. In 1997 the decision was made to rename it “Google”. Page and Brin found their first workspace in the summer of 1998 – in the aforementioned garage. This belonged to Susan Wojcicki (55), who later became one of the first employees and, among other things, served as head of the Google subsidiary YouTube until mid-February 2023. For its 20th birthday five years ago, the group released a video showing archive footage from the garage.

On September 4th, the duo finally founded the company, which has been synonymous with internet searches in Germany for years. Numerous milestones followed. At the beginning of 1999, Brin and Page moved with a total of eight employees to Palo Alto, and a little later to Mountain View, the company’s current headquarters. In 2000, Google users were able to search the Internet in German, among other languages, for the first time. A press release at the time still spoke of “one of the fastest growing search engines on the web”.

Other milestones include the opening of the first Google rental office in Germany in October 2001 in Hamburg. There was officially no special choice of location behind this. The first employee in Germany simply lived there. The email service Gmail was launched in 2004, the company went public in August of the same year and the video portal YouTube was purchased in 2006. The Google Chrome browser was launched at the end of 2008, as was the first Pixel smartphone Google in October 2016. The group, which was incorporated into the Alphabet Inc. holding in 2015, now has offices all over the world. There are more than 20 in Europe alone.

Just a few days ago, on August 30th, Google’s popular Doodles also celebrated their 25th birthday. By changing the company logo, the search engine highlights special occasions, including birthdays of famous personalities or holidays. Over the years, more than 5,000 pieces have been created. The first interactive doodle was released in May 2010 on the 30th anniversary of the classic video game “Pac-Man”. Users could play a version of the game directly in the browser.

For years, Google’s search engine has been a synonym for searching on the Internet for many Internet users – similar to other companies whose products have become established in German usage over the past decades. In 2004 the verb “googling” appeared in the Duden for the first time.

“Search and research the Internet with Google,” it says officially. Initially, according to a report in “Welt” from 2006, the explanation was “search on the Internet, especially in Google”. A spokeswoman for the Duden publishing house at the time confirmed that the meaning had been changed at Google’s request. According to the report, Google’s lawyers had asked dictionaries and newspaper editors worldwide to stop using “google” as a synonym for an Internet search, probably for trademark protection reasons.

In general, even today, many people ask for a “Tempo” when they have a cold, there is the “Labello” for the lips, “Aspirin” is used for headaches, the “Kirps” is used when it rains and, well, you just “google” it .