Two PhD students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started a search engine named BackRub in 1996
Fortunately in 1997, they changed the name to Google! and moved their operation into a garage.
A rather decent chap named Milton Sirotta devised the name Google by altering the word “googol”, which is a mathematical term for the number one followed by 100 zeros.
Google has not yet reached this number by any metric, even if you count the total number of bits processed by their servers since day one. Or the total number of atoms that make up the entirety of Google, or the planet Earth.
But what is clear is, they are having a mighty good whack at somehow getting close to that number, even if you count the number of electrons used to power the entire entity that is Google for 1000 years, you still don’t come close to a googol.
Here is the current warm and safe Google front page at the time I am writing this article
Pretty slick eh?
Clean, uncluttered, easy on the eye. Bear in mind though, we have almost 20 years of familiarization with this brand. If you were seeing this for the first time, you would have no clue what it’s all about.
Google became a registered domain on the 15th of September, 1997. The initial idea was that it was just a searchable database that would return information from said database, triggered by queries.
Here’s how the front page looked back then:
Not too shabby, actually, even for the ’90s.
Nowadays, almost everyone is at least a ninth dan in Google-fu, but earlier on, instructions on how-to-use were necessary:
Other features then were Google Friends, a newsletter service that updated users on new searchable areas (now we just assume that we can search for absolutely anything) and Google Stickers, which you could embed in your own website and save the searches you made there. Very different form how we use Google today.
Google has come a long way, and can still go further. Here’s a list on Wikipedia of all the products and services available today on Google.