Unofficially obsessed with Google.


Snapshots in Google history 1999

12/11/2005 10:47:00 PM
Tracing Google circa 1999 with primary source assistance from the Internet Archive.



December 2, 1998 finds the unlikely startup in a yucky teal phase that barely lasts a few months. It's entirely too hideous to like at, but it does offer some promising features. Immediately from inception, the simple formula of a centered logo and search box are native components to the Google flagship. Also foreshadowed here is Google's University Search (Stanford, anyone?) and what is today's Google Friends Newsletter (for which the rudimentary April 1998 issue is still available). And not that anybody is sad that this is gone, but here's some of that last vestige of Google's original exclamation mark logo. But they, unlike Yahoo, would eventually kick that late 90's Internet hype in the balls with a play for real users and serious money.



April 28, 1999. finds Google wiser and less turquoise. This is the Google, that will always be the search home page's archetype. Everything you need is here: centered logo and search field, one search button, one lucky button, an enticing link to more features, and the requisite copyright statement. All else will just be fluff, well, except for all that useful stuff that eventually comes along like Image searching... but you get the idea. Google admits that this fat beta logo was a mistake, but it sure is fun to see it in place. All retrofitted and exclamatized. Terrifying, but not as terrifying as it could have been. (For some reason, Internet Archive can load this logo image for a split second before returning an image not found blank field. I sat here for 7 minutes trying to capture it with Alt + Print Screen, and finally succeeded.)



November 29, 1999 says hello new logo! A crisp new serif font (Catull) is in place along with enterprising new links for Jobs and corporate info. We even see that Google has won a PC Mag award! Hooray! It's just the beginning of a half-decade of ruling the world. But the real hottness will be when the G kids get it together and shove that logo back to the center again. Left-leaning media? They won't admit to it!

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