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The secret hidden in Google's name shocks internet users

The secret hidden in Google's name shocks internet users


Did they Google it?

Google may be one of the most popular search engines on the planet, but many people have wondered where its unusual name came from.

The origin of the title was revealed through a post that resurfaced on forum platform Quora, where a user asked, “Is Google an acronym?”

This has led to a variety of theories about the origin of the company's name, which was founded in 1998 by computer scientists Sergey Brin and Larry Page when they were doctoral students at Stanford University.

Some people mistakenly assume that Google stands for Global Organization of Oriented Group Language of Earth.

Google co-founders Larry Page (left) and Sergey Brin (right) attend a press conference where Google and T-Mobile announced the first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1. Corbis via Getty Images

But as many astute users have pointed out, the iconic blue, red, yellow and green letters aren't an abbreviation, but a play on the word Googol, which, for the uninitiated, is an arithmetic term for 10 to the power of 100, an almost unthinkably large number – a 1 with 100 zeros after it.

Interestingly, the term was coined in 1920 by Milton Sirotta, the nine-year-old nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, who frequently referenced the number in his 1940 book Mathematics and the Imagination.

The boys' idea was that such an absurd quantity deserved an equally absurd name.

When Larry Page and co. were brainstorming names for the company, someone suggested calling it “Googol,” so the tech mogul asked a friend if the domain was available.

Some people mistakenly assume that Google stands for Global Organization of Oriented Group Language of Earth. Christopher Sadowski

However, the friend apparently misspelled the word Google, so Page decided it sounded better, and Google Inc. was born.

In other words, one of the most powerful search engines on the planet is named after a typo in the search bar.

Stupidity aside, Google will probably want to go straight for the labels Page and Brin have pretty much chosen.

Initially, the pair planned to call their ubiquitous search engine Backrub, since the program would use backlinks for searches.

As All That's Interesting succinctly puts it, if you're happy to be able to Google something instead of searching for it on BackRubb, you should thank typos, sheer numbers, and nine-year-old boys.




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