Since 1998, Google has been designing special, temporary alternate logos to place on their homepage intended to celebrate holidays, events, achievements and people. The first Google Doodle was in honor of the Burning Man Festival of 1998.

PageRank was influenced by a similar page-ranking and site-scoring algorithm earlier used for RankDex, developed by Robin Li in 1996, with Larry Page's PageRank patent including a citation to Li's earlier RankDex patent; Li later went on to create the Chinese search engine Baidu.

Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in Stanford, California. While conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, the two theorized about a better system that analyzed the relationships among websites. They called this algorithm PageRank; it determined a website's relevance by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages that linked back to the original site.

The domain name for Google was registered on September 15, 1997.

Google received money from three other angel investors in 1998: Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, Stanford University computer science professor David Cheriton, and entrepreneur Ram Shriram. Between these initial investors, friends, and family Google raised around 1 million dollars, which is what allowed them to open up their original shop in Menlo Park, California.

Google was initially funded by an August 1998 contribution of $100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems; the money was given before Google was incorporated.

The company was incorporated on September 4, 1998. It was based in the garage of a friend (Susan Wojcicki) in Menlo Park, California. Craig Silverstein, a fellow PhD student at Stanford, was hired as the first employee.

In March 1999, the company moved its offices to Palo Alto, California, which is home to several prominent Silicon Valley technology start-ups.

After some additional, small investments through the end of 1998 to early 1999, a new $25 million round of funding was announced on June 7, 1999, with major investors including the venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital.

In 2000, Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords against Page and Brin's initial opposition toward an advertising-funded search engine. To maintain an uncluttered page design, advertisements were solely text-based.

Google has a tradition of creating April Fools' Day jokes. Its first on April 1, 2000 was Google MentalPlex which allegedly featured the use of mental power to search the web.

In June 2000, it was announced that Google would become the default search engine provider for Yahoo!, one of the most popular websites at the time, replacing Inktomi.

In 2001 Google's Investors felt the need to have a strong internal management, and they agreed to hire Eric Schmidt as the Chairman and CEO of Google .

Google launched its Google News service in 2002, an automated service which summarizes news articles from various websites.

Google was then reincorporated in Delaware on October 22, 2002.

In 2003, after outgrowing two other locations, the company leased an office complex from Silicon Graphics, at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View, California.The complex became known as the Googleplex, a play on the word googolplex, the number one followed by a googol zeroes. Three years later, Google bought the property from SGI for $319 million.

In 2004, Google formed the not-for-profit philanthropic Google.org, with a start-up fund of $1 billion. The mission of the organization is to create awareness about climate change, global public health, and global poverty.

Google's initial public offering (IPO) took place five years later, on August 19, 2004. At that time Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt agreed to work together at Google for 20 years, until the year 2024. At IPO, the company offered 19,605,052 shares at a price of $85 per share. Shares were sold in an online auction format using a system built by Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, underwriters for the deal. The sale of $1.67 billion gave Google a market capitalization of more than $23 billion.

In 2005, The Washington Post reported on a 700 percent increase in third-quarter profit for Google, largely thanks to large companies shifting their advertising strategies from newspapers, magazines, and television to the Internet.

In 2006, Google moved into about 300,000 square feet (27,900 m2) of office space in New York City, at 111 Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. The office was designed and built specially for Google, and houses its largest advertising sales team, which has been instrumental in securing large partnerships.

By late 2006, Google established a new headquarters for its AdWords division in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For the 2006 fiscal year, the company reported $10.492 billion in total advertising revenues and only $112 million in licensing and other revenues.

Having found its way increasingly into everyday language, the verb "google" was added to the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006, meaning "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet.

In October 2006, Google announced that it had acquired the video-sharing site YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock.

In October 2006, the company announced plans to install thousands of solar panels to provide up to 1.6 megawatts of electricity, enough to satisfy approximately 30% of the campus' energy needs. The system will be the largest solar power system constructed on a U.S. corporate campus and one of the largest on any corporate site in the world.

In November 2006, Google opened offices on Carnegie Mellon's campus in Pittsburgh, focusing on shopping-related advertisement coding and smartphone applications and programs.

The YouTube Deal was Finalized on November 13, 2006.

In 2007, Google launched "AdSense for Mobile", taking advantage of the emerging mobile advertising market.

In 2007, Google announced a free Internet service called TiSP, or Toilet Internet Service Provider, where one obtained a connection by flushing one end of a fiber-optic cable down their toilet.

Since 2007, Google has aimed for carbon neutrality in regard to its operations.

On April 13, 2007, Google reached an agreement to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, transferring to Google valuable relationships that DoubleClick had with Web publishers and advertising agencies.

The stock performed well after the IPO, with shares hitting $350 for the first time on October 31, 2007, primarily because of strong sales and earnings in the online advertising market.

In 2008, Google announced its "project 10100" which accepted ideas for how to help the community and then allowed Google users to vote on their favorites.

According to leaks of said program, Google joined the PRISM program in 2009.

According to comScore market research from November 2009, Google Search is the dominant search engine in the United States market, with a market share of 65.6%.

In January 2010, Google released Nexus One, the first Android phone under its own brand, "Nexus".

In 2010, Google Energy made its first investment in a renewable energy project, putting $38.8 million into two wind farms in North Dakota.

In 2010, Google bought the building housing the headquarter, in a deal that valued the property at around $1.9 billion.

In the late 2010s, Google began to build its own private submarine communications cables. The first, named Curie, connects California with Chile and is to be completed in 2019. The second fully Google-owned undersea cable, named Dunant, connects the United States with France and is planned to begin operation in 2020.

In February 2010, Google announced the Google Fiber project, with experimental plans to build an ultra-high-speed broadband network for 50,000 to 500,000 customers in one or more American cities.

In February 2010, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FERC granted Google an authorization to buy and sell energy at market rates.

In July 2010, Google signed an agreement with an Iowa wind farm to buy 114 megawatts of energy for 20 years.

By 2011, Google was handling approximately 3 billion searches per day. To handle this workload, Google built 11 data centers around the world with some several thousand servers in each. These datacenters allowed Google to handle the ever changing workload more efficiently.

In 2011, the Chromebook was introduced, described as a "new kind of computer" running Chrome OS.

In 2011, 96% of Google's revenue was derived from its advertising programs.

In 2011, Google donated 1 million euros to International Mathematical Olympiad to support the next five annual International Mathematical Olympiads (2011–2015).

In May 2011, the number of monthly unique visitors to Google surpassed one billion for the first time.

In May 2011, Google announced Google Wallet, a mobile application for wireless payments.

On August 15, 2011, Google made its largest-ever acquisition to date when it announced that it would acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion This purchase was made in part to help Google gain Motorola's considerable patent portfolio on mobile phones and wireless technologies, to help protect Google in its ongoing patent disputes with other companies, mainly Apple and Microsoft, and to allow it to continue to freely offer Android.

Google disclosed in September 2011 that it "continuously uses enough electricity to power 200,000 homes", almost 260 million watts or about a quarter of the output of a nuclear power plant.

The year 2012 was the first time that Google generated $50 billion in annual revenue, generating $38 billion the previous year.

In 2012, the company ranked 2nd in campaign donations of technology and Internet sections.

In July 2012, Google launched a "Legalize Love" campaign in support of gay rights.

On September 24, 2012, Google launched Google for Entrepreneurs, a largely not-for-profit business incubator providing startups with co-working spaces known as Campuses, with assistance to startup founders that may include workshops, conferences, and mentorships.

In January 2013, then-CEO Larry Page commented, "We ended 2012 with a strong quarter ... Revenues were up 36% year-on-year, and 8% quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year – not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half."

In 2013, Google launched Google Shopping Express, a delivery service initially available only in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

In 2013, Google ranked 5th in lobbying spending, up from 213th in 2003.

In June 2013, Google acquired Waze, a $966 million deal. While Waze would remain an independent entity, its social features, such as its crowdsourced location platform, were reportedly valuable integrations between Waze and Google Maps, Google's own mapping service.

In July 2013, Google introduced the Chromecast dongle, that allows users to stream content from their smartphones to televisions.

The corporation exercised FERC authorization in September 2013 when it announced it would purchase all the electricity produced by the not-yet-built 240-megawatt Happy Hereford wind farm.

Google announced the launch of a new company, called Calico, on September 19, 2013, to be led by Apple, Inc. chairman Arthur Levinson. In the official public statement, Page explained that the "health and well-being" company would focus on "the challenge of ageing and associated diseases".

The corporation's consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2013 was reported in mid-October 2013 as $14.89 billion, a 12 percent increase compared to the previous quarter. Google's Internet business was responsible for $10.8 billion of this total, with an increase in the number of users' clicks on advertisements.

In November 2013, Google announced plans for a new London headquarter, a 1 million square foot office able to accommodate 4,500 employees.

By January 2014, Google's market capitalization had grown to $397 billion.

On January 26, 2014, Google announced it had agreed to acquire DeepMind Technologies, a privately held artificial intelligence company from London.

In June 2014, Google announced Google Cardboard, a simple cardboard viewer that lets user place their smartphone in a special front compartment to view virtual reality (VR) media.

In April 2015, Google announced Project Fi, a mobile virtual network operator, that combines Wi-Fi and cellular networks from different telecommunication providers in an effort to enable seamless connectivity and fast Internet signal.

In May 2015, Google announced its intention to create its own campus in Hyderabad, India. The new campus, reported to be the company's largest outside the United States, will accommodate 13,000 employees.

On August 10, 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet. Google became Alphabet's leading subsidiary, and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Upon completion of the restructure, Sundar Pichai became CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page, who became CEO of Alphabet.

In October 2015, a related motto was adopted in the Alphabet corporate code of conduct by the phrase: "Do the right thing". The original motto was retained in the code of conduct of Google, now a subsidiary of Alphabet.

In January 2016, Google reached a settlement with the UK to pay £130m in back taxes plus higher taxes in future.

Google spawned a number of phones and tablets under the "Nexus" branding until its eventual discontinuation in 2016, replaced by a new brand called Pixel.

On March 15, 2016, Google announced the introduction of Google Analytics 360 Suite, "a set of integrated data and marketing analytics products, designed specifically for the needs of enterprise-class marketers" which can be integrated with BigQuery on the Google Cloud Platform.

In September 2016, Google began its Google Station initiative, a project for public Wi-Fi at railway stations in India.

As of October 2016, Google operates 70 offices in more than 40 countries.

In December 2016, Google announced that—starting in 2017—it will power all of its data centers, as well as all of its offices, from 100% renewable energy.

In 2017, Google channeled $22.7 billion from the Netherlands to Bermuda to reduce its tax bill.

As per its 2017 Annual report, Google generates most of its revenues from advertising. This includes sales of apps, purchases made in-app, digital content products on google and YouTube, android and licensing and service fees, including fees received for Google Cloud offerings. 46% of this was from clicks (cost per clicks), amounting to US$109,652 million in 2017.

Google has worked with the United States Department of Defense on drone software through the 2017 "Project Maven" that could be used to improve the accuracy of drone strikes.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, made a profit of $2.5 billion (€2.2 billion) in the first six weeks of 2017 alone.

In March 2007, in partnership with the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), Google hosted the first Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival at its headquarters in Mountain View.

In May 2017, Google enabled a new "Personal" tab in Google Search, letting users search for content in their Google accounts' various services, including email messages from Gmail and photos from Google Photos.

On June 27, 2017, the company received a record fine of €2.42 billion from the European Union for "promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results."

On August 8, 2017, Google fired employee James Damore after he distributed a memo throughout the company which argued that "Google's ideological echo chamber" and bias clouded their thinking about diversity and inclusion, and that it is also biological factors, not discrimination alone, that cause the average woman to be less interested than men in technical positions.

In November 2017, Google bought 536 megawatts of wind power. The purchase made the firm reach 100% renewable energy. The wind energy comes from two power plants in South Dakota, one in Iowa and one in Oklahoma.

In March 2018, Google's parent company Alphabet bought the nearby Chelsea Market building for $2.4 billion. The sale is touted as one of the most expensive real estate transactions for a single building in the history of New York.

The company's unofficial slogan "Don't be evil" was removed from the company's code of conduct around May 2018.

In July 2018, Mozilla Program Manager Chris Peterson accused Google of intentionally slowing down YouTube performance on Firefox.

On July 18, 2018, the European Commission fined Google €4.34 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules.

On October 9, 2018, Google confirmed that it had appealed the fine to the General Court of the European Union.

On October 25, 2018, The New York Times published the exposé, "How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’". The company subsequently announced that "48 employees have been fired over the last two years" for sexual misconduct.

In November 2018, Google announced its plan to expand its New York City office to a capacity of 12,000 employees.

On November 1, 2018, more than 20,000 Google employees and contractors staged a global walk-out to protest the company's handling of sexual harassment complaints.

In December 2018, it was announced that a $1 billion, 1,700,000-square-foot (160,000 m2) headquarters for Google would be built in Manhattan's Hudson Square neighborhood.

As of December 2018, Google has 98,771 employees.

On January 21, 2019, French data regulator CNIL imposed a record €50 million fine on Google for breaching the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

On March 19, 2019, Google announced that it would enter the video game market, launching a cloud gaming platform called Google Stadia.

On March 20, 2019, the European Commission imposed a €1.49 billion ($1.69 billion) fine on Google for preventing rivals from being able to “compete and innovate fairly” in the online advertising market.

In April 2019 former Mozilla executive has accused Google of intentionally and systematically sabotaging Firefox browser over the past decade in order to boost Chrome's adoption.

On June 3, 2019, the United States Department of Justice reported that it would investigate Google for antitrust violations.