Google began as a humble research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, in March 1996, as students of Stanford University. While probing through the mathematical structure of the internet and also looking at the possibilities that their research could unearth, both Larry and Sergey knew that they were sitting on something big, something that could contribute heavily to the internet. This humble start to "Google" has now blossomed into the biggest online network of websites, applications and tools.
Google has contributed a lot to the internet, let us have a look at some of the most important contributions:
1) Google Search
One of the first Google sites and also the most used one, Google Search has become the largest share holder in the Search Engine Market (as shown in infographic). Google Search boasts of having one of the most complex and well laid out algorithms that can detect and rank content from different websites using certain parameters, including Google Page Rank (another contribution to the internet, used to rank the quality of a site with the help of number of incoming links or "votes" as they call it at Google). Google Search prides itself on delivering "The Most Relevant Search Results".
The GMail service was started in 2004 in a Beta phase and was made open to the public in 2007, the free e-mail hosting service has since become one of the most popular e-mail services with over 350 million users (as per January 2012). Yahoo! Mail is a close second with around 320 million registered users.
GMail has surely changed the world of e-mail mainly because of its easy integration with many of the other Google tools and sites such as Google Play, YouTube, Blogger etc.
Although YouTube was originally started by PayPal employees in 2005, it was popularized, developed and integrated with other online tools by Google in 2006. Google had to pay a whopping $1.65 billion to acquire the video sharing site.
At the time Google bought YouTube, around 100 million videos were being viewed each day, which increased to 4 billion video views a day by 2012.
Google Adsense was the one of the first PPC (pay-per-click) programs to be successful on the internet and made "Making Money Online" something that everyone could achieve. Adsense was started in June 2003 and now accounts for over 28% of Google's total revenue.
Adsense created a new generation of bloggers and webmasters who finally had a reason to open a website or a blog, and today, we have millions of websites and webmasters looking to profit from this venture by Google.
The days before AdWords was one in which advertisers had to contact several different sites directly and have their ads placed on the sites. Post AdWords, advertisers could just choose a "Niche" or "Keywords" for which their ads need to be served, with this simple task, advertisers could see their ads running on targeted sites without the hassle of directly contacting many different webmasters.
Even today, millions of advertisers are finding potential customers online through AdWords.
Blogger was launched in 1999 by Pyra Labs, but was bought by Google in 2003. Ever since Google bought Blogger, there have been rapid changes, improvements and various types of integration added to Blogger, which has made it the most popular free blogging platform today.
The simple fact that people who want to blog need not pay any money for a domain name or a hosting account has made it very popular indeed.
"Every minute of every day, 270,000 words are written on Blogger", a statement posted on the Google Blog shows the popularity and extent of usage of Blogger.
7) Google Maps
Google Maps for the first time, provided a way to search for and locate anything in the world using localized maps. With recent developments, one can easily locate any service in their locality and even get reviews and thumbnails of the service (such as a restaurant, mall, shopping complex).
Apart from these main seven contributions of Google to the Internet, there have been several other apps, sites and tools that Google has provided to the internet and the people who use it, such as - Google Plus, Orkut, Google Apps, FeedBurner, Google Play store, Google Sites, Keyword Research Tools, Google Docs, Google News etc.