Google turned 25 on Wednesday, September 27. The search engine, which is now a household name, was not called Google when it was first launched 25 years ago.
Google has surely come a long way. The company, which currently has a market cap of a whopping $1.625 trillion started when two students at Stanford University brainstormed in their dormitory and came up with the idea to create an online search engine that would help organize web pages and also rank the same.
The co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are currently among the richest people in the world. The pair were goofy and yet had a penchant for wordplay. So back in 1996, while rolling out their first prototype for what would become the world’s greatest search engine, they were making up nerdy names for their product.
What was Google’s name when it was first launched?
According to Stanford’s David Koller, and Google’s own website, their search engine was initially called BackRub. The idea behind the name was that the program analyzed the web’s “back links” to assess the importance of a website and its relation to other sites. BackRub operated on Stanford’s servers till the bandwidth became overburdened.
After a year, however, Page came to the conclusion that the name BackRub just wasn’t good enough. According to Koller, As a result, Page and his officemates at Stanford began to brainstorm different names for the search engine technology.
A graduate student at Stanford named Sean Anderson, suggested the word “googolplex” during a brainstorming session. Page then countered with the shorter “googol.” Googol is the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes, while googolplex is 1 followed by a googol zeros.
When Anderson checked to see if that domain name was taken, he accidentally searched for “google.com” instead of “googol.com.” Page liked that name even better, and registered the domain name on September 15, 1997.