Larry Page and Sergey Brin created Google while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University back in 1998. Today Google is one of the most successful companies in the world and it operates under its parent company Alphabet. Google has about 90000 employees and has more than 70 offices in 50 countries. This internet giant handles over 3.5 billion queries a day that translates roughly to over 40000 queries per second. With a number of essential services like Gmail, Google Drive, Youtube, etc under its portfolio this behemoth has become the unparalleled monarch of the internet world. Let us see some amazing facts about Google that are really interesting.
1) Google was officially verbified by Oxford & and Merriam Webster
The name Google is actually a misspelling of the word ‘Googol’ which is a mathematical term for 10 to the power of 100 or in other words 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The word Google became so popular that it was recognized as a verb by both Oxford and Merriam Webster dictionaries.
The American Dialect Society chose Google as the “most useful word” of the year 2002.
2) Google has goats on its payroll
California is notorious for wildfires and hence it is a legal requirement to remove the excess bush from the ground. The conventional way to do this is via lawnmowers that causes emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. But Google has taken a step further by hiring a herd of 200 goats to do this work.
Dan Hoffman, Director of Real Estate and Workplace Services, posted on Google’s blog:
These goats are rented by the firm California Grazing and they spend roughly about a week on Google campus eating the grass.[Source]
3) Google provides free Wi-Fi to the entire city of Mountain View
The corporate headquarters complex of Google called the “Googleplex” is located in Mountain View, California. From 2014 Google has been providing free Wi-Fi to the entire residents of Mountain View.[Source]
Image Credit: Mountain View Website
4) No part of a Google office is more than 200 feet away from food
Google operates about 25 different cafes across its Mountain View office. In addition to this, Google provides micro-kitchens to serve everything from seasonal fruits to assortments of white and dark chocolates. It is as per the instruction of Sergey Brin who doesn’t want any of his employees to be 200 feet away from food at any time.[Source]
5) Google was nearly sold for less than a million dollars
Today Google is worth $110.8 billion and its parent company Alphabet is currently valued at around $851.2 billion. But back in 1999, the founders of Google wanted to sell it for about $750,000 to the company Excite. The then CEO of Excite George Bell turned down this offer citing it as a hard bargain.[Source]
6) Google’s first tweet was a bit obscure
The first tweet send by Google is
When we convert each set of 8bits into decimal and check with ASCII values we get the message as “I’m feeling lucky”.
“I’m feeling lucky” button takes us to first result for the search query directly without clicking the result. But with the introduction of Google instant that shows suggestions as we type this button is no longer important.
7) Google’s original name was Backrub
Page and Brin initially called their search engine project Backrub because it analyzed backlinks in the web to understand the importance of a website and relation to other sites. In 1997 the duo decided that backrub was not suitable for their project and finally bought the domain name google.com on September 1997.[Source]
8) The first doodle was an out of office message
Larry Page and Sergey Brin took an off on the last week of August 1998 to attend the Burning Man festival. It was on the 30th of August 1998 that Google published the Burning Man logo to indicate that the founders were out of office.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Later Google started following it a practice to decorate their logo to commemorate holidays, events, achievements, and notable historical figures.[Source]
9) Larry’s page was Google’s maiden link
Today Google knows about 130 trillion individual pages but it all started back with indexing the web page of Larry Page at Stanford.
10) Google’s leaders promised to be together for at least 20 years
Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt agreed a month before the company went public in 2004 that they would all work together for at least 20 years.[Source]
Image Credit: Daily Mail
11) Askew is not just a word for Google
The term Askew literally means not straight. If we search for the term askew in Google search box the result page will tilt a few degrees to the right.
12) Google can do a barrel roll
If we type in the words “do a barrel roll” to Google search box then the results page will itself do a barrel roll. The same thing happens if we type “Z or R twice” on Google search box.
Both these terms are actually references to the Star Fox 64 game developed by Nintendo in 1997. In this game, the airplane could do a barrel roll maneuver by pressing the Z or R key twice
13) Google hired a camel for a desert view
Google used cars equipped with high-resolution cameras to capture street views across the world. But when it came to the view of a desert Google did it the old fashioned way. It hired a camel called “Raffia” to capture the images of Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Oasis.
Image Credit: CNN Travel
The camera mounted on top of the camel captured the 100 kilometer-wide scenic desert.[Source]
14) Google has a speciesist policy.
Speciesism is a form of discrimination based on species and Google definitely follows one such policy. Their official code of conduct specifically states they are a dog company. Google prefers its employees to bring their dogs to the workplace but not cats.[Source]
15 ) Google speaks Klingonese
The Klingon language, also called Klingonese, is a constructed language spoken by the fictional Klingons in the Star Trek movies.
This language was created by an American linguist Marc Okrand. Google has an official version of its site in Klingonese language.
16) Google’s first office was a garage
Page and Brin started working on Google while they were graduate students at Stanford University. But they needed a better space to work. Susan Wojcicki rented the garage of her home at Menlo Park to the two aspiring Ph.D. students for a rent of $1,700 per month.
Image Credit: Google Maps
Later Susan became the 18th employee of Google and was Google’s first marketing manager. Now she is the CEO of YouTube. Sergey Brin is married to Anne Wojcicki who also happens to be the sister of Susan Wojcicki.[Source]
17) Google founders enjoy a private NASA runway
Larry Page and Sergey Brin use customized Boeing 767-200 as their private aircraft. They enjoy the ultimate perk of having a private runway on Moffett Field, an airport run by NASA that is generally not open to any private aircraft.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
This airport is just 4 miles from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View. This private space is a result of an agreement between Google and NASA that allows the agency to place some scientific instruments on the planes for collecting flight data.[Source]
Note: Also check out these amazing facts about Facebook.