Google: The Story You Never Knew

How did Google start? Have you ever thought about that? I don’t think you have, probably just a little. We all got so engrossed with the fantastic features this search engine offers us that we forgot to check how did they get here.

The name “Google” originated in one of the funniest forms you would ever imagine. It came from a misspelling of a kid’s word, googol.

Googol was coined in 1920 by a 9-year-old boy, Milton Sirotta. This word became popularized by Edward Kasner, a U.S mathematician and an uncle to Milton, who used the term frequently in his book Mathematics and the imagination.

The word Googol started gaining global recognition as it became a maths term for large numbers with the notation of 10^100.
The term googol fits in with the original name, Google, as it fits perfectly with the goal of the Google team.

This goal is to build very large scale search engines, to make it accessible universally by a range of internet users worldwide.
This speculative range might one day spread past the borders of human as artificial intelligence might make it possible for bots and robots to access information from search engines that are available to them.

Have I bored you with alot of long talks?
Okay, relax.
Grab a pack of popcorn; let’s get to the fun part.

The beautiful story of Google like every other story began somewhere.
It began in 1995, in the fantastic bond of two friends at Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
1995, surprised right?
That was two years before the 1997 Titanic movie. The world was lit during that time by the circles of friendship.

This friendship story of Larry and Sergey wasn’t a bed of roses during its start as there were stumbling blocks, huge ones.
They disagreed virtually on everything, but on their next year of study, they struck a deal to become partners.
You see, if I were to be a motivational speaker, I would have advised you to beg your ex for forgiveness.
You two could have become partners if only you crossed that year.

Their Google project officially began in 1996 as a search project by these two friends. They had to involve a third man to the crew. This third man wasn’t loud much, but tragically, he wrote much of the code that formed the Original Google search engine.
This man is Scott Hassan. He left the team before Google was officially launched as a company.
You see why we all have to stick together, till we make this world a better place.

Although Scott left with better plans, he left Google to pursue a career in robotics, where he successfully founded his company, Willow Garage, in 2006.

This pair worked out from their dorm rooms seeking ways to find and establish relationships between individual pages and the world wide web. They looked beyond what average search engines as of that time usually do. Search engines like Web crawler, Excite, ask Jeeves, Yahoo could offer. These search engines count how many times search terms and queries were made on a page. Page and Brin sought ways to analyze the relationship between these existing websites.

This process was theorized into a system, an algorithm which they called page rank. Page rank brought unionism between different pages of a website by calculating it’s Relevance by the number of pages that linked back to the original site and the importance of those pages.

With this algorithm and the help of codes written by Hassan, they got their first search engine, which they called Backrub.
Backrub is the origin of what we call today, SEO(backlink or outbound link) optimization. Because it checks backlinks that are related to a page, to estimate its importance. This is what we know today to be SEO ranking.

After the departure of Hassan from the group, Rajeev Motwani and Terry Winograd joined the team. They helped Page and Bring co-author their first paper about the project. This paper was published in 1998.
Terry Winograd was a computer science professor at Stanford at that time, and both Terry and Rajeev were Larry Page’s adviser.
Additional help came from Hector Garcia-Molino and Jeff Ulman to see to the fulfillment of that project.

Page rank to Backrub, it got its name changed to Google as its official domain name. It was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company got incorporated on September 4, 1998.

Is this where the story ends?
Not actually.
This is just the beginning.

It will be very humourous for you to know that Google started its corporation, with its office in a garage. A friend’s garage in suburban Menlo Park, California. Susan Wojcicki, a fellow PHD student at Stanford, a friend of Page and Brin, became their first employee.

Does that sound awful?
Nope, not all.
She is now the CEO of YouTube.

I believe you see the connection. Most times, you have to help your friends fulfill their dreams; you can indirectly achieve yours.
The story of Garage Corporation got bigger.

Google got initial funding from Andy Bechtolsheim, the German electrical engineer and Self-made billionaire who is also the co-founder of Sun microsystems.
He donated $100,000 to page and Brin’s project. This was before Google was incorporated. Google got huge support from investors; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, their University computer science professor David Cheriton, and Ram Shriram, a former officer at Amazon who is now a founding member on Google and one of America’s billionaire businessmen.

In addition to this, friends and families of these two friends helped in raising about 1million dollars. This helped them in getting a shop at Menlo Park, California.

During these days, the Google office was just made up of awkward-looking desktop computers, a ping-pong table, and a bright blue carpet set.
The setting was just a colorful touch in the environment to keep the place well lit in the early hours of the day and late at night.

Ranging from Google’s initial server(Lego) to Page and Brin soliciting for help, which got Hector Garcia, who was also page adviser to help them secure $10,000 from Stanford’s digital library. This fund enabled these two students to build their data servers from parts they could purchase.

During this , the Google team was just unconventional. They were frugal and just trying out with things that will work out for them.
But the state of things didn’t hinder these fellows from hitting global; they took life, one step at a time.

March 1999 gave Google another lift, as they moved from the streets of Menlo to Palo Alto, all in California. This brought them closer to the heart of technology as this location harbored top leading technology start-ups of Silicon Valley.

In 2000, Google tried out selling adverts(ads) that were related withtorch keywords. But in June 2000, Google saw one of its major hit. As they were announced to become the default search engine provider for Yahoo!. Taking up the place of Inktomi. This significant breakthrough brought Google closer to people.

In 2003, Google leased an office complex from Silicon Graphics, which later became known as Googleplex became a zone for their expansions.
2004 was a time in Google history that no one can forge; Google pleaded for public alms.

I bet you’ll be asking did these students turned entrepreneur hit the street begging for cash? No, they didn’t. They initiated a scheme called Google’s IPO(Initial Public Offering). With this scheme, they offered 19,605,052 shares at a price of $85 per share.

This shares were sold out, with Google scaling great growth.
The company that started out as a school project, to a garage store, saw itself in 2011 handling an approximate of 3 billion searches everyday and employing an estimate of 1,300 Stanford graduates as staffs with Marissa Meyer, a graduate of Stanford, who served as the vice president of Google for Location and services.

This wasn’t just enough as Google built 11 data centers around the world with thousands of servers in each data center. These data centers enabled them to carry the workload of the search engine more efficiently.
As of 2012, Google generated annual revenue of $50 billion.

Google as today stands, is not just a search engine for keywords and research but has spread wide to different dimensions of usage even to work utility.
Ranging from Google Doc forms, Google Slides, Google Sheets, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Translate, Google Maps, Google Photos, Google chrome, just to mention a few.

The one-time paper project is now a Company of a net worth of approximately $280 billion, with Larry Page having the net worth of $63.9 billion and Sergey Brin having the net worth of 61.6 billion USD.

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