What did the Google homepage look like when the search engine/website was launched fifteen years ago? The first screengrab below, from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, is dated November 11, 1998. Yes, it did list 25 million pages, with the promise "soon to be much bigger." That was arguably the understatement of the last century, and in the decade and a third of this one, the company labelled evil by one of our unthinking politicians
has excelled itself and then some.
As you can see, the homepage has not changed much over time, but this sameness is deceptive. The latest version can be seen in the penultimate screengrab below. Press the new app button — the nine small squares next to SIGN IN — and no fewer than nine features are revealed — see bottom screengrab. Press the More link, and six more turn up including Google Blogger and Google Translate. Press Even more from Google
, and it explodes.
Google have also recently changed their logo
, but not so anyone would notice.
The one criticism that might be made of the new layout is that it displays too few features, but if you are using Google Chrome you can simply select whatever it is you want — say Google News — and add it to your bookmarks at the top of the screen, see for example the image dated April 30, 2007, below.
The list of features for this totally free service is truly amazing. Margaret Hodge should thank her lucky stars that such EVIL people as Sergey Brin
us in this fashion. After all, wouldn't you rather pay 60p for a first class stamp to send a letter that might arrive the next day when courtesy of Google you can email your correspondent instantaneously for free?