18 Almost Unknown “Google” Facts

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Today Google is the best search engine and service provider around the world. Which started as a Ph.D. research project at Stanford University in 1995. This small underdog becomes the $370 billion-dollar company that dominates the internet as we know today.

Here are some interesting and almost unknown facts that surround this company. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Met by chance

Back in 1995. Larry who was 22, just got a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan. He is in the process of considering attending Stanford University for a Ph.D. In fate, Brin who was 21 and already a Ph.D. at Stanford, was assigned to show Larry Page around the Campus. That is how they met. A meeting by chance, a meeting of the minds.

2. Backrub

Backrub - google facts

During 1996, Larry and Brin were working on the “Web Crawler” concept which was then called “Backrub”. Many speculate, that this was the entry point of the all famous search engine that dominates today. Backrub was a project that can collect backlinks for further processing.

3. The name Google is a spelling error

The founders of the site, Larry Page and Sergey Brin thought they were going for ‘Googol.’ Googol is the mathematical term for 1 followed by 100 zeros. The term was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, and was popularized in the book, Mathematics and the Imagination by Kasner and James Newman. Google’s play on the term reflects the company’s mission to organize the immense amount of information available on the web. Initially, Larry and Sergey Brin called their search engine BackRub, named for its analysis of the web’s “backlinks”. The search for a new name began in 1997, with Larry and his officemates starting a hunt for a number of possible new names for the rapidly improving search technology.

4. The Bare Page

The reason the Google page is so bare is that the founder didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. Due to the sparseness of the homepage, in early user tests, they noted people just kept sitting staring at the screen, waiting for the rest to appear. To solve the particular problem the Google Copyright message was inserted to act as an end of page marker.

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5. “Page” Rank

Google started as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were 24 and 23 years respectively. Google’s mission statement is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The basis of Google’s search technology is called PageRank that assigns an “importance” value to each page on the web and gives it a rank to determine how useful it is. However, that is not why it is called PageRank. It is actually named after Google co-founder Larry Page.

6. Largest Translation Network

Google receives about 20 million search queries each day from every part of the world, including Antarctica and the Vatican. You can have the Google homepage set up in as many as 116 different languages – including Urdu, Latin, Cambodia, Tonga, and Yoruba. In fact, Google has the largest network of translators in the world.

7. No Submit Button

In the earliest stage of Google, there was no submit button, rather the Enter key needed to be pressed. Google has banned computer-generated search requests, which can sop up substantial system resources and help unscrupulous marketers manipulate its search rankings.

8. Google Mail or Gmail?

Google’s free webmail service Gmail was used internally for nearly two years prior to launch to the public. The researchers found out six types of email users, and Gmail has been designed to accommodate these six. The free e-mail service recently changed its name for new UK users. Following a trademark dispute with a London-based Independent International Investment Research, the mail account has been renamed Google Mail.

9. Billions or Trillions

It would take 5,707 years for a person to search Google’s 3 billion pages. Google software does it in 0.5 seconds. Google Groups comprises more than 845 million Usenet messages, which is the world’s largest collection of messages or the equivalent of more than a terabyte of human conversation.

10. Witty Logos

The logos that appear on the Google homepage during noteworthy days and dates and important events are called Google Doodle. The company has also created an online museum where it has all the logos it has put on various occasions so far. Dennis Hwang, a Korean computer artist in the United States, is the guy behind these witty Doodles. Hwang has been drawing the face of Google for over 10 years.

11. Google Moon

You have heard of Google Earth, but not many know there is a site called Google Moon, which maps the Lunar surface.

Google Moon - google facts

Google Moon is an extension of Google Maps and Google Earth that, courtesy of NASA imagery, enables you to surf the Moon’s surface and check out the exact spots that the Apollo astronauts made their landings.

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12. Keyhole

Keyhole, the satellite imaging company that Google acquired in October 2004 was funded by the CIA. Keyhole’s technology runs Google’s popular program Google Earth that allows users to quickly view stored satellite images from all around the world.

Keyhole, the satellite imaging company that Google acquired in October 2004 - google facts

13. The Garage thing

The company’s first office was in a garage, in Menlo Park, California. Google’s first employee was Craig Silverstein, now Google’s director of technology. Starting in September 1998, the company’s first office space was Susan Wojcicki’s garage on Santa Margarita Ave. in Menlo Park, Calif. Wojcicki is Google employee number 16. At that time, she was Google’s first marketing manager. She is now the CEO of YouTube. This place is retrofitted the ranch-style dwelling with lava lamps, candy, and snacks.

14. Gmail was launched on 1st April

Regardless of the silicon valley pranks, Google unwrapped Gmail on April 1, 2004, in a witty-worded announcement that was seriously perceived as a hoax. It wasn’t Google Gulp. It was just a brilliant double fake. The precursor to a Google product that now serves millions of users across the world every day.

15. Google’s first chef – The Grateful Dead

In 1999, Charlie Ayers won a cooking competition held by Google Employees. Charlie used to cook for the well-known restaurant “The Grateful Dead”. Charlie holds this award for more than 7 consecutive years. At Google, he eventually served 4000+ daily lunch and dinners across the Google mountain view HQ, consists of 10 restaurants.

16. Iconic “Deal” at Denny’s

The iconic acquisition deal of YouTube was held at Denny’s breakfast. Denny’s was chosen as a neutral meeting ground due to the fact, none of them usually go there. Instead of holding it at one of their offices. YouTube’s old owner, Steven Chen ordered the Mozzarella sticks. This is the place where Google CEO Eric Schmidt promised YouTube’s founders that they would have almost unlimited resources if they could provide happy users, and the $1.65 billion deal was signed.

17. Stanford owns Google’s first search patent

Google’s search algorithm, known as PageRank which was named after Larry Page, took place with the help of Stanford University while the two were studying there. Larry Page was granted a patent for the algorithm it was assigned to Stanford.

When these two left to form Google, Stanford received a whopping 1.8 million shares of Google stock in exchange for a long-term patent license. Since then, PageRank earned more than $350 million for Stanford. Which evidently was more than enough list the two founders into the university’s Inventor Hall of Fame.

18. The Goats

Google opted to use animals, rather than using fuel-based machines to do the lawn mowing jobs in the GooglePlex. The company “California Grazing” has provided Google with a large herd of 200 goats to tame the weeds and grasses around the “Googleplex” offices.


Did you know about any of these? or did it came as a surprise?

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