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If you were to approach someone in the street, supermarket or even anywhere in the world for that matter and randomly ask, “what is Google?” you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know the answer….

Google is now by far the most popular search engine on the planet, reportedly earned a gobsmacking $38 billion in just 2011 alone, and is so widely used  that the when we need an answer to any question at all, we now just ‘Google it’….So where did it all begin for Google?

In the beginning

Believe it or not some of us still remember the days before Google even existed! In the good old 1990’s, if we needed to find an answer to a question such as, “how fast does a cheetah run?” We simply had to visit the library to look in an encyclopaedia! Finding answers to questions proved to be very difficult and time consuming.

It’s hard to believe that Google only began in 1996, a time when the most popular ways to search the web were to use Yahoo!, Excite and Lycos.  But at Stanford University in California, 2 PHD computer science students named Larry Page and Sergey Brin were busy creating a research project named “BackRub.

They planned to create a better search engine, one that would make finding the right answer much easier and quicker. So the pair built their own makeshift server and developed a technology that would give a webpage a ‘Page Rank’ based on its importance by analysing the number of external websites linking to it, instead of simply presenting search results based purely on the number of times the search text appeared on the given website, provided by other search engines.

Googles first server

Google's first server - Credit:

The birth of Google

After much hard work and testing to develop their unique algorithm, the pair decided that it was time to find a new name for the search engine.

After much debate, they agree on the name ‘Google,’ an intentional misspelling of the word Googol (the number 1 followed by 100 zeros), used because it was a perfect reflection of their plan to organise an infinite amount of information on the web.

Later in 1998 as the search engine indexed more and more of the web, the company rapidly outgrew the Stanford university servers, and Google moved to its first office which was was set up in a friend’s garage.

Later that year PC magazine reported Google as the number 1 search engine for finding extremely relevant results and the rest is history!

Google’s growth and vision

In the preceding years Google has grown in leaps and bounds, receiving capital investments of millions of dollars, releasing versions in multiple languages across the globe, and has delved into new products such as maps, video and social networks .

Even though Google still remains the dominant search provider for finding companies on the web such as, one thing still remains true….

Google has always maintained its small business feel, and down to earth company vision. Everyone it employs are considered equal, their ideas shared and encouraged, and even the first ever ‘bring your dog to work day’ started way back in April 1999 is still encouraged today, as discovered by our team when they visited the Google offices in London.

There is no doubt for the foreseeable future that Google will remain the number 1 way to find answers to our many questions!

Article source: Google