fbpx
03/07/2020 The Communication Science magazine

Google’s Origin Story

What’s the origin of Google? Rita takes us on the magical journey that made the company what it is today.


At Stanford University where we lay our scene, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page cross paths. A year later, their endeavors would begin to change the course of history as we know it, mastering the chaos and creating a life-saving search engine: Google. 

The prologue: The meet-cute

It all started in the summer of ’95. Sergey Brin, a computer science Ph.D. student at Stanford University, volunteered to be a tour guide for a group of potential future students. As fate would have it, Larry Page was in that group. It was  not love at first sight for these two, however. Both being rather opinionated, the two quickly started clashing with each other, disagreeing on practically everything. However, all of this would soon change. Less than a year later, the two became the innovative duo who embarked on the journey that brought to life Google as we know it.

Act I: BackRub

A few months after their memorable encounter, Page enrolled at the University of Stanford. While exploring topics for his thesis, inspired by the functionality of citations in academic papers, Page decided to explore the backlink structure of the internet. A backlink is essentially a link outside a certain domain, that points back to that certain domain, similar to how an academic paper may cite and hence provide a connection to another paper. During his investigation, Larry realized that similar to citations, the backlinks could provide an insight into the relevance of certain webpages. This led to the creation of the predecessor of Google: BackRub.

For BackRub to function, Page needed to be able to crawl through or analyze the millions of documents and information on the internet. Not only was the number of backlinks relevant, but also the importance of the source of those backlinks. And who should show up to help our hero? Mathematical prodigy Sergey Brin.

After hearing about Page’s endeavor while in search of his thesis topic, Brin became intrigued, and the two quickly joined forces. They developed an algorithm, which ranked webpages, benefiting those which had a greater number of backlinks and more significant sources. This was named PageRank, after Larry Page.

PageRank set Page’s and Brin’s search engine apart from other existing ones, which operated mainly based on the number of times a search term was on a webpage. This, however, wouldn’t be patented until 2001.

In 1996, about a year after they’d met, Page and Brin released an early version of BackRub on the Stanford website, as a test.

Act II: Googol Google

As the engine was further developed, a name change was necessary. Inspired by its ability to provide order and analyze a large number of data, the name ‘googol’ was proposed. A googol is a term, created by the 9-year-old nephew of the mathematician Edward Kasner, which means 10100 The term was created to simply describe a large quantity. How did we get from googol to google? Believe it or not, the great company we know by the name Google, the same name that even officially became a verb in 2006, is nothing but a misspelled word.  

Act III: Google Inc.

In the early days of Google, with few resources, the students had to be creative, turning Brin’s dorm room into a programming center, borrowing equipment from the network lab, and even creating server racks out of Lego.

A big leap in Google’s success occurred in 1998. With the help of Stanford University Professor David Cheriton, the two students met Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. After a quick demonstration of what Google was, and a brief discussion of a business plan, Bechtolsheim showed his support for the project, stating that he didn’t want them to worry about money and writing them a check. A check for $100 000. It was shortly after that Google Inc. was founded.  

With the investments, Google Inc. moved from the dorm rooms to Menlo Park, to the garage of  Susan Wojcicki, the current CEO of YouTube.

Later in 1998, Page and Brin found themselves on their way to the Burning Man festival. To inform staff and users that they wouldn’t be at the office, they decided to display a Burning Man-inspired stick man figure behind Google’s logo. This creative move was the first step to the creation of the now-iconic Google doodles. Finally, in 1999, Google removed its test status and was officially launched to the public. 

The epilogue: Google LLC

Since its creation, Google has grown to own several platforms, tech products, and services: From Gmail to Google Earth, to Google calendar, to Chrome, to YouTube, or even its classic search engine.

It currently employs over 60 000 people in 50 different countries. Its headquarters, the “Googleplex”, is currently situated in Mountain View, California. With nap pods, slides, goats instead of lawnmowers, and a T-Rex skeleton called Stan, the HQ is a physical representation of Google’s empire and innovation.  

Two men met in 1995. The rest, as they say, is history.

Cover: Mitchell Luo

Reacties

reacties

Related Posts

FSR-FMGxMEDIUM: File Update

30/06/2020

30/06/2020

This academic year has ended and so has the term of the current student council. In this article, Medium gives you an insight into the FSR-FMG’s achievements of this year.

Netflix’s “Queer Eye” Season 5 Review: Spreading Human Connection in Lonely Times

30/06/2020

30/06/2020

Quynh reviews the latest season of the Netflix Original 'Queer Eye'. This season continues the sociopolitical crusade of the Fab 5 in Philidelphia.

Movie theatres: Safely “escaping” 2020

23/06/2020

23/06/2020

What better way to escape the anxieties this year has brought us than by getting lost in a good movie? This article provides you with a list of Amsterdam's must visit movie theaters, for the ultimate escape from reality.

Usage of Surveillance Drones Over Black Lives Matter Protests in the USA

19/06/2020

19/06/2020

The murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, sparked Black Lives Matter protests all over the U.S. Five years after BLM protests were calling for justice after the murder of Freddie Gray, the U.S. government has resorted to drone surveillance as it did in 2015. However, the questions remain, what are they watching?, why are they watching? and what happens to protesters' data in the footage?

“Er komt een tijd dat stilte verraad is”

18/06/2020

18/06/2020

Na de dood van George Floyd is de wereld gezamenlijk opgestaan om racisme te bestrijden. Elsa schrijft in dit artikel over drie acties die je kan ondernemen om wit privilege en racisme beter te begrijpen en zo je steentje kan bijdragen voor een betere wereld.

The Pros And Cons Of Studying Online

17/06/2020

17/06/2020

Online-learning continues throughout next semester of the UvA. Andrada tells us what this means for the quality of academic education.

How Taylor Swift Defined the 2010s

16/06/2020

16/06/2020

From country girl to pop-star - Danny shows you how Taylor Swift successfully shaped pop culture during the last decade.

Backstage Interview With Alexandra Rosca at STUDIO DRIFT

15/06/2020

15/06/2020

Alexandra, chair of the student council FSR-FMG, shares her internship experience at the STUDIO DRIFT art collective. DRIFT's artworks, which are anything but conventional, are displayed in world-famous museum collections and a few outdoor installations.

The Ambiguous Promise of Commercial Sustainability

13/06/2020

13/06/2020

Commercial companies focus on progressing in a sustainable way, but how much of the environmental promises are actually genuine?

FSR-FMG in One Word (but not always) by the Party Representatives of the 2020-2021 Elections

12/06/2020 and

12/06/2020

Student council elections have (almost) come to an end, support your candidates and cast your vote if you haven't yet!

A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Hooked on K-Dramas

09/06/2020

09/06/2020

Next to the growing popularity of K-pop, are people also exploring more Korean media. Especially the K-dramas. Medium reviews some of the best K-Dramas.

Content Farms and Youtube Algorithms: Match Made in Heaven or Partners in Crime?

05/06/2020

05/06/2020

In this article, Quynh explores the phenomenon "content farms" on YouTube, the risks these pose and the way they affect the platform's future.

The Art of Journaling: Inside the Mind of a Master Journaliser

05/06/2020

05/06/2020

Leah Hamilton likes to write down everything that happens in her life. For that reason she started journaling and Medium's Gabby interviewed her on how and why she does it.

(Straight) TikTok: Land of Homophobia and Stealing from Black Creators

02/06/2020

02/06/2020

Danny calls for tolerance in this opinion piece about bias in TikTok. The time has come for integrity, inclusion and diversity in this decade's social media monster.

17776: A Touchdown on Digital Storytelling

02/06/2020

02/06/2020

In 17776 many things will be different, but some stay the same. Karina tells us how the story of robots proclaims the future of American football.


mersin escort
mersin escort