Design History of Google Search

Google Search is a search engine owned by Google Inc. Google Search is the most used search engine on the internet having more than three billion searches each day. Google search was developed by by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1997 and launched on September 15 1997. Over the years the design of Google search has changed numerous times with features being added as technology has improved.

Here is a quick timeline of Google and its changes throught the last 15+years.
In 1998, Google was very cluttered. It has a very 90’s look to it with boxes and the blue hyperlinks. It had a ‘Stanford Search’ because it it started as a researsch project at Stanford University. Also, on the front-page you could subscribe to the Google Friends newsletter.


In 1999 they got rid of all the clutter and just focused on being a search engine.
In 2000 Google added a language box, and also offered jobs and an About page highlighted with blue bullets which moved the logo (which is changed to the font we now know Google for) off center to the left.
In 2002 they introduced blue tabs on top of the search box. The index was placed on the bottom of the page, and the 3 links to the right side the search box. I think this layout was busy, had too much going on because of the different links and their sizes.


In 2004 Google got rid of its tabs on top of the search box making the page simpler again. They now had a list of links (Web, Images, Groups, News).
Since the beginning of Google, it had always had the navigation above the search box, but in 2007 they moved the navigation from above the search box to the top-left of the page.


In 2009, the Google search box and buttons got bigger, with more spacing in-between the buttons with auto-completion of search queries when you begin typing a word in the search. The search settings link was moved to the top
In late 2009, Google changed to a completely clutter-free homepage showing only the logo, search box and two search buttons. All the other links only fade in after you move your mouse. Now it was very minimal and easy to look at.


In June 2011, Google turns their top navigation bar dark. When using Google’s Chrome browser, you’ll also spot a microphone icon which, when clicked, allows you to speak your search keywords
In November 2013, Google started testing yellow labels for advertisements displayed in search results, to improve user experience.

Google Logo

g1Original Google logo in Baskerville Bold from September–October 1998

g2The Google! logo used from October 1998-May 1999

g3The Google logo from May 31, 1999 to May 5, 2010.

g4The Google logo from May 6, 2010 to September 18, 2013.

g5The current Google logo was launched on September 19, 2013.

Google Doodles

Google doodles are when the Google logo is changed into a creative version, it can be a picture, drawing or animation that includes the logo. It is usually done on a special day or event like Christmas, Historical events or birthdays of famous people. The first Google doodle was for the Burning Man Festival in 1998. Also as of late they have had interactive versions for Pac-Man that can be played on the homepage.




One thought on “Design History of Google Search

  1. Dear Ali, we are missing you in class. There are 5 blog posts in total which will be your final assessment due in 2 more weeks. However for this post I would like you to Write a short statement about how changes in the web have influenced interface design.

    What challenges have graphic designers faced while creating website interfaces? How do metaphors play a role in website, mobile device and web application design? How has the technology changed the way we create web interfaces?

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