10 Things You Didn’t Know About Google

In our digital age, Google is a lifeline for most people. It’s a friend who never tires of our incessant questioning, a teacher who has all the answers, and a helper that’s ready to assist you for a plethora of tasks. Despite this, there’s so much we don’t know about this global internet giant. Read on to discover 10 captivating and surprising facts about Google.

1. The Name ‘Google’ Was An Accident

Believe it or not, the renowned name ‘Google’ was the result of a spelling mistake. The founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, wanted to name their creation ‘Googol’, which is a mathematical term for the number one followed by 100 zeros. This choice was meant to underline their mission of organizing the seemingly infinite internet information. However, during a discussion, ‘Googol’ was misspelled as ‘Google’, and the name stuck around.

The domain google.com was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated a full year later on September 4, 1998. It just goes to show that even multibillion-dollar companies can start with plain human error.

2. Google’s First Doodle Was An OOO Message

The first Google Doodle appeared unexpectedly back in August 1998. The doodle, a simple stick figure drawing, was intended not as a design ornament but as a kind of ‘Out of Office’ message. Founders Page and Brin were heading to the Burning Man festival and added the stick figure to the Google logo just to indicate that they were away and might not be able to fix technical issues promptly.

The quirky tradition caught on, and today, there’s a whole team named ‘Doodlers’ creating ornate and interactive Google logos for various holidays, anniversaries, and events worldwide. Users now eagerly wait to see and interact with the new Google Doodles.

3. The Google Homepage Is Notoriously Bare Because The Founders Didn’t Know HTML

The Google homepage’s simplicity is actually a result of the founders’ insufficient HTML knowledge. In the early stages of development, Page and Brin focused more on the search algorithm than the website design. Hence, they created a quick and straightforward interface without any extras or even a submit button- something almost unheard of in web design.

Today, the minimalist design has become an integral part of Google’s identity, giving users a quick, no-nonsense gateway to their search needs. It’s a testament to the ‘less is more’ philosophy, connecting users instantaneously with the world’s information.

4. Google’s First Server Was Made Of Lego

In the prototype stages, Google’s first server rack was built using Lego blocks. The interesting choice of materials allowed the team to expand storage capacity easily, adapting to the constantly-changing infrastructure needs. The piece of tech nostalgia, serving as a testament to the company’s humble beginnings, is now hosted in the Stanford Computer Science building.

The Lego server signifies Google’s innovative culture and its emphasis on problem-solving, traits which continue to shape its numerous groundbreaking products today.

5. Goats Keep Google’s Lawns Trimmed

Google’s forward-thinking and sustainable practices are evident even in lawn maintenance. The company rents goats from a local farming service to keep its Mountain View headquarters’ lawns trimmed. The flock of around 200 goats mow down the grass in a week while providing an eco-friendly option to noisy, pollution-generating machines.

This initiative underscores Google’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. The sight of goats lazily munching away also provides a pleasant and stress-relieving view for the Google teams.

6. Google Helps You Find Your Lost Android Phone

If you’ve lost your Android phone, Google can help you find it. By simply typing “Find my phone” into the search engine, Google can pinpoint the location of your device right on a map. The feature also allows you to call the lost device, sign out of your account on it, or erase its data altogether to keep your personal information safe.

The facility indicates Google’s focus on offering convenience to its users while safeguarding their privacy. It serves as an added benefit for Android users, making the Google ecosystem even more valuable.

7. Google Is Dog-Friendly

Google’s work culture and employee-friendly policies have often been news headlines. One such policy allows Google employees to bring their dogs to work. Called ‘Dooglers’, these four-legged companions are a common sight at Google campuses, leading to a fun and relaxed work environment. It also shows Google’s belief in work-life balance and its efforts to make the workplace feel like home.

However, sorry, cat lovers! Google’s official code of conduct maintains that it’s a dog company, possibly due to the havoc free-roaming cats could wreak with allergies or incompatible personalities.

8. Google Translates Over 100 Languages

Google Translate is an impressive tool that can translate between 108 languages at present. As one of Google’s oldest services, it launched with support for just two languages in 2006, and the addition of more languages over the years has made it infinitely more useful. It’s a significant part of Google’s aim to make global information universally accessible.

Remarkably, Google translate service can process more than 100 billion words a day, connecting countless people around the world. Through this, Google acts as a bridge, uniting various cultures and fostering worldwide communication.

9. Google’s ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ Button Costs It Millions

The “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, which takes users directly to the first search result, actually costs Google millions in lost advertising revenue. However, it stays as Google’s tribute to user satisfaction over profits. It presents an essential part of the company’s identity- understanding users’ requirements better than anyone else.

Interestingly, the feature has been adapted in Google’s instant search since 2010. Hovering over it now shows various alternatives like “I’m Feeling Playful” or “I’m Feeling Artistic”, leading you to games, doodles, art, and more.

10. Google Doesn’t Believe In The ’46th Search Page’

Finally, when searching using Google, you can never reach beyond the 46th page of search results. According to Google, if you haven’t found what you’re looking for by that point, you’re unlikely to find it by looking further. It’s Google’s subtle way to encourage more precise searching and signifies its quest to provide the most relevant search results.

The fact that Google believes no individual should go beyond the 46th page signifies its confidence in its search algorithm’s ability to pull up the most relevant information within the first few pages.

Conclusion

Understanding these lesser-known aspects of Google shows not just the technical prowess but also the spirit of innovation, sustainability, and user-friendliness that defines Google. As we search, translate, map, or email, perhaps we can appreciate a little more the fascinating journey of the tech titan that is Google.

For more insights into the tech world, continue on the following links:

Google’s Story

Google Doodles

Google’s Newsroom