10 Amusing Facts About Google

It may sound preposterous with the benefit of hindsight, but only ten years ago, on September 7, 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded their new company, Google. Here are some amusing facts about Google.

1. Google got its name by accident. The founders misspelled the word “googol,” which refers to the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The word was chosen to reflect the company’s goal of organizing the massive amound of information that is available on the Internet.

2. The Google home page is so sparse because the founders did not know HTML and just wanted to create a quick interface.

3. At first, there was not even a “submit” button. Users had to hit the “return” key to generate a Google search.

4. Google’s search technology is called PageRank (tm). It assigns an “importance” value to each page on the Web and gives it a rank. But that is not why the technnology is called PageRank. In fact, it is named after Google co-founder Larry page.

5. Google’s traffic doubled when they introduced their “Did you mean…” feature. This feature was made possible by a much-improved spell checker.

6. Google users apparently never feel “lucky,” since the “I feel lucky” is almost never used. However, in trials it was discovered that users saw it as a comfort button and did not want it removed.

7. Brin and Page would hang out at the Stanford computer science department’s loading docks in hopes of borrowing newly-arrived PCs to use in their network.

8. Google’s first data center was Larry Page’s dorm room.

9. When Page and Brin tried to find buyers to license their search technology, one portal CEO told them “As long as we’re 80 percent as good as our competitors, that’s good enough. Our users don’t really care about search.”

10. The first major investor Andy Bechtolsheim on of the founders of Sun Microsystems wrote a check for $100,00 after seeing a quick demo. At first, there was no way to deposit the $100,000 check. It was made out to “Google Inc.,” but there was no legal entity with that name. The check sat in Page’s desk drawer for two weeks while he and Brin rushed to set up a corporation and locate other investors.

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