Moving up the rankings – The Highs and Lows of Google’s 15 Year Reign

Ian HancockStuff

Back in September, Google, the search engine we all know and love (or loathe!) celebrated its 15thbirthday…but then this might have passed you by.

It seems that Larry Page and Sergey Brin are a little coy when it comes to birthdays; as on the actual day (September 27th if you’re interested) there was little fanfare, save for a Google Doodle (more on these later).

So coy in fact, that even though September 27th was given as the 15th anniversary, the exact date of Google’s launch is somewhat unclear. In previous years Google has celebrated its birthday on several different dates throughout September. Technically, the company is actually 16 as the domain was registered on 15th September 1997, but the company was created on September 4th 1998 and now they’re celebrating their birthday on the 27th… er, we told you it wasn’t very clear.

One thing that is clear though, is that Google is a dominating force. Google dominate the UK’s search engine market share, handling over 80 per cent of all queries. But does everything that is touched by Google turn to gold?

Join us in tracking the highs and lows of Google’s 15 year reign…

Google search engine

5 important words…world’s, most, popular, search, engine

High or low? I think this one goes without saying.

Google AdWords

Next on the list has to be AdWords. A product that just spells success, 97% of Google’s revenue comes from AdWords.


High or low? Without a doubt a high, right?

Google Catalogs

Only available in the US, Google Catalogs involved putting print catalogues online and was designed to enable users to engage with product images and information. It didn’t really work though, despite this it lasted from 2002-2009.

High or low? Bit of a low we’re afraid Google.

Google X site

A Google product that many won’t have heard of, and for good reason.  The Google X site, a re-designed Google home page styled after the Mac OS dock interface on OS X, lasted all of one day back in 2005. Seen as a homage to the mac operating system, Google X was believed to have been pulled over worries that Apple copyright lawyers might not have been so appreciative.

However it lives on, thanks to some clever re-creation that can be found here.

High or low? One day? Fail…low.


Launched in 2004 on an invitation only basis, before being made available to the general public in 2007, Gmail today has over 425 million active users and is the most widely used email service in the world.


High or low? One word, high!


Google Doodles

Not strictly a product but definitely something Google does well.  Google doodles are described by the company as fun, surprising and sometimes spontaneous changes to the Google logo and can be found on all kinds of occasions – some well-known and others not.

High or low? With over 1000 doodles created, some of which have been truly spectacular and interactive, we are definitely saying they are a high.


Google Wave

Sort of part email, part Twitter and part instant messaging, Google Wave was a social network with identity issues. Billed as a real-time communication platform, it was announced in May 2009 and had disappeared by August 2010

High or low? Too complicated, it’s a low from us.


Google Glass

Not even available to the public yet but already widely anticipated, with its heads-up display, internet access,  GPS and voice commands, this wearable computer is set to cause a storm when it goes on sale next year.

High or low? Due to the buzz around it we’re saying high.

Do you agree with our highs and lows? Is there a key product we’ve missed? If so, add your comment below and let us know.