Google – a story about a garage and a 1 with many zeros

Search engine giant

By Lars Lubienetzki | May 30, 2022 at 8:14 p.m

There are some companies in the world whose names almost everyone knows. These include Apple and Microsoft, for example, but also the search engine giant Google. Google was founded in 1998. But how did it become a global corporation?
Did you use "altavistert" or "gelycost" before? If you are older than 25 and already had internet access then, definitely. The terms don't mean anything to you? There aren't even any. However, today we all know the term “google” as a synonym for “search for something on the internet”. The first well-known search engines in the 1990s were called AltaVista and Lycos. However, Google was the first to develop a working business model from it, although the story begins in a garage.
In 1996, the two computer science students Larry Page and Sergey Brin worked in this garage on the idea of putting a completely new type of search engine on the Internet. The first version of their search engine is called BackRub. A short time later, the two students changed the name to Google.
Why Google? The name derives from the mathematical term "googol". This means a 1 followed by 100 zeros. Mathematically correct, this number was actually called “ten sexdecillion” or “sedecillion” for short. However, the American mathematician Edward Kasner finds this name too cumbersome. So in 1938 he asked his nine-year-old nephew what he would call such a number. The nephew finds "Googol" quite fitting. But that's only marginally.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin want to revolutionize the search for websites. A completely new search method is at the center of all the considerations of the two Internet pioneers: the page rank method, named after the inventor Larry Page.

A great idea conquers the world

With the page rank method, the importance of a website is not primarily evaluated according to the content, but according to how often other, thematically similar websites link to a page. This idea or evaluation method distinguishes Google to this day and has been refined and adapted over the years.
The actual founding of "Google Inc." begins with a ten-minute presentation to Sun Microsystems co-founder Andreas von Bechtolsheim. The investor is visibly impressed by the two students' idea. Without thinking twice, he writes Larry Page and Sergey Brin a check for $100,000.
Unfortunately, Andreas von Bechtolsheim enters the company “Google Inc.” as the check recipient. However, this does not exist at this point in time. In order to be able to cash the check, the two computer science students founded the company "Google Inc." on September 4, 1998.
Also read: Do you already know the hidden features of Google Maps?

Keep it simple

In February 1999, Google opened its first office in Palo Alto, California. The number of daily search queries quickly rises to 500,000. The popularity of the new search engine is increasing rapidly. In 2000, the Google index listed over a billion pages. The new company has thus overtaken its competitors within a very short time and has risen to become the leading search engine.
Google's success also has something to do with its simple appearance and ease of use. Other search engines deliver similarly good results as Google. However, many competitors overload their search service and set up entire web portals.
Today web portals are nothing unusual. At the beginning of the 2000s, however, Internet connections were still very slow. Back then, speed made Google the winner. The page does not require a lot of graphic frills and therefore appears faster on the computer monitor.
Also read: This is what popular websites used to look like
Google is now a public company and one of the most important companies in the world. We all use some of Google's many services on a daily basis. Due to the data collection frenzy, there is of course a lot of criticism of Alphabet, as the parent company has been called since 2015. However, can you still imagine a world without Google?

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