Google Turned 23 Today! Here’s The Programming Behind The World’s Favourite Search Engine

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Hola there! Twenty-three years ago, two great minds, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, two Google co-founders, started working on this search engine in their dorms, and boom in 1998, Google was officially born! Can you imagine a life without this service, making almost every bit of information available to us within nanoseconds? Let it be finding answers for your projects and homework or finding a recipe to satisfy your midnight cravings – Google has answers for everything. Right from YouTube to Google Pay, everything is now available at your fingertips. Now, let’s understand a bit about the programming behind these services. 

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Google has its own programming language!

Developed in 2009, ‘Go’ programming language is Google’s own programming language. Go is syntactically very similar to C, and is an open-source language focussed on simplicity and efficiency. Go quickly became popular and is one of the most famous programming languages now. The main aim behind this language was to replace popular languages such as Java and C++ and built networking and infrastructure programs using this language. Some of the well-known tools such as Kubernetes and Docker are written in Go. 

Here’s how these popular services are programmed

Google Search Engine 

More than a million web pages are available in Google, and Google uses the PageRank (named after Larry Page) algorithm to rank these pages. According to Google, 

“PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.”

The PageRank mainly uses C++ for its backend, and the frontend is in Python and javascript.

Another concept that Google’s search engine implements now to rank these pages is web crawling. Web crawling crawls through millions of these pages, determining which pages are the most valuable and important to the users for a particular keyword. Their purpose is to index all the pages so that they can appear in the search engine results. The crawler tool is also written in C++ and makes use of internal libraries for making it efficient. 


Python is one of the key languages at Google, along with C++ and Java. The programming language used to develop YouTube has changed over the years. When YouTube was initially launched, it was mainly built in PHP along with JavaScript and CSS. After Google acquired YouTube in 2006, YouTube switched its programming language switched from PHP to Python. YouTube, a massive part of Google, is a big user of Python. YouTube uses Python for various functions, including viewing a video, controlling website templates, administering video, and accessing canonical data. 

Google Maps

Google Maps has become one inevitable part of our life for moving around. Initially launched as a desktop solution to help people get from ‘point A to point B.’ The languages used for building the framework of Google Maps are C++, JavaScript, XML, and Ajax. Google Maps essentially uses two well-known Graph algorithms – Dijkstra’s algorithm and A* algorithm, to calculate the shortest distance from point A ( Source) to point B ( destination). You can read in detail about how Google Maps makes use of these algorithms here


Gmail is one of the most used e-mail services, and the majority of us will have an account in that. Since Gmail has a vast client base, it is of utmost importance that it is scalable, and hence Java is preferred. 

Amazing right how a programming language can change the world, and make millions of bytes of data available to you in few seconds? All thanks to our savior, Google, who has made our lives so much easier. Happy Birthday, Google! 

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4 Replies to “Google Turned 23 Today! Here’s The Programming Behind The…”

  1. Gmail uses JavaScript extensively since Java is very scalable and is the only language supported by all the browsers. Since Gmail has a vast client base, it is of utmost importance that it is scalable, and hence why Java is preferred. These lines proof that this blog is written by a non technical person.

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