What is the true meaning of the word Google, the most popular search engine in the world

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of the company, misspelled it. Originally it was “Googol”

The name Google has mathematical origins
The name Google has mathematical origins. REUTERS

The internet abounds with theories and myths about the names of large companies. One of the most curious stories that has circulated is that Google is an acronym for “Global Organization of Oriented Group Language of Earth”. However, the real story behind Google’s name is much simpler and more mathematical.

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What does the word Google mean?

The name Google has a rather particular mathematical origin. It comes from the term “googol”, which was coined by the American mathematician Edward Kasner in 1938 to refer to a hugely large number: 1 followed by 100 zeros.

The story goes that Kasner was talking to his nephew Milton Sirotta, only 9 years old, about large numbers. He asked Milton what he would call such an immense number, and the boy replied, “Googol.”

Googol refers to an immense number
Googol refers to an immense number. (Illustrative image)

Years later, in 1997, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google, were looking for a name for their search engine. They liked the word “googol” because of the idea it represented: an infinite amount of information. However, they misspelled it as “Google” and that’s how it stuck.

How Google was created

Google’s history dates back to 1996 at Stanford University in the United States, where two doctoral students in computer science, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, met.

Back then, searching for information on the web was a chaotic and inefficient process. Existing search engines were primarily keyword-based, resulting in irrelevant and disorganized results.

Page and Brin had a different vision: they wanted to create a search system that would organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful to everyone.

Thus was born BackRub, a university project that used an innovative algorithm called PageRank to analyze the structure of the web’s links. PageRank evaluated the importance of each page based on the quality and quantity of websites that linked to it.

BackRub’s results were considerably more accurate and relevant than those of traditional search engines. The project quickly gained popularity among the academic and technological community.

In 1998, Page and Brin decided to turn BackRub into a company. They chose the name “Google,” a misspelled version of the mathematical term “googol,” which represents a number 1 followed by 100 zeros.

Page and Brin founded Google while in graduate school
Page and Brin founded Google while in graduate school. REUTERS/Jacob Silberberg/File Photo

The company was officially founded in 1998 with an initial capital of $100,000. Since then, Google has experienced exponential growth, becoming one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world.

Today, Google offers a wide range of products and services including search, email, maps, navigation, videos, operating systems, productivity software, and more.

Who are Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the co-founders of Google, one of the most influential technology companies in the world.

Page was born on March 26, 1973, in East Lansing, Michigan. He studied Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan before earning his master’s degree in Computer Science at Stanford University. He is known for developing the PageRank algorithm, which became the basis of Google’s search engine.

Google's most recent technological application is Gemini, an artificial intelligence model
Google’s most recent technological application is Gemini, an artificial intelligence model. (Google)

Sergey Brin was born on August 21, 1973 in Moscow, Russia, Brin immigrated to the United States with his family at a young age.

He also attended Stanford University, where he met Larry Page and co-developed the Google search engine. Brin holds a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Stanford.

Together, Page and Brin founded Google in 1998 while they were graduate students at Stanford, revolutionizing the way people search for and access information on the internet.

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