There are few companies that have transformed the world as much as Google. They have completely revolutionized the way in which people use the internet, and consequently how people access and use all of the information in the world. Founded in 1998, they have gone from strength to strength and it is now one of the most universally recognized, used and respected companies in the entire world. This also makes Google one of the most fascinating businesses around and there are dozens of jaw droppings facts about their inner workings. Here are 10 of the best.
10. Each Day, 16% of Searches are Ones Google Has Never Seen Before
Google is used to search for just about everything. People use it to find products and services, as well as all kinds of different information. It is also used by people all around the world, and as this list will show an unfathomable amount of searches are made every single day. Each day, around 16% of searches that are made are ones that Google has never seen before. Of course, a lot of this will come down to people phrasing their queries differently whilst searching for the same thing, but it goes to show how Google is used to search for absolutely everything that you can think of and by millions of different people. Thanks to Google, it is easier than ever to quickly find and use information on everything and it is now very difficult to imagine a life without Google readily available at your fingertips.
9. Google Owns a Huge Amount of Domains to Cover Mistypes
Although just a six letter world, Google knows that thousands of users will make typing mistakes when putting this into their browser. To cover this, they own an enormous range of domains that would be common typos for people looking for Google. This includes gooogle, googel, gogle and many other variations. Additionally, Google also owns the domain 466453 which was the number of their texting service. As some of you may have noticed, this number spells out Google when punched into a keypad. Although none of this is totally necessary, it is another example of Google’s clever insight and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure a smooth user experience, especially for those that are prone to regular typing mistakes.
8. The Google Home Page is Bare Due to the Founders Not Knowing HTML
Google is often praised for having a simple and sparse homepage that is little more than their logo against a white backdrop with a search bar. This is refreshing when so many websites are cluttered with boxes, other links and all kinds of color schemes. Interestingly, Google’s choice to go for the bare minimum was not down to a personal preference, but rather because the founders did not know HTML at the beginning and simply wanted a quick interface. For a long time, there was no submit button and users would have to press the Return key to use the website. Due to its very basic design, in the testing period many people would sit and look at the screen as if waiting for the rest to load. Fortunately, people got to grips with the minimalist design, and it is now difficult to imagine it being any other way.
7. The Name Came From a Misspelling
The word Google has become an enormous part of everyday life, so much so that we rarely think about what a strange name it is. Originally, the search engine was going to be called BackRub due to the fact that it finds and ranks pages based on back links. They soon abandoned this idea, and instead opted to go for the large number googol, which when written in decimal notation is a 1 followed by one hundred 0s. This was chosen to signify that the search engine provided large quantities of information, but the founders accidentally spelled this “google” and they decided to stick with it. The domain name for Google was registered on the 15th of September, 1997, and it became incorporated on the 4th of September, 1998. As such a key part of modern day life, it is hard to imagine Google being called anything else.
6. Their Unofficial Motto Was “Don’t Be Evil”
All good businesses need a motto or slogan to live by, and this should permeate through every level of the business. Google’s is “don’t be evil,” which we think is a pretty fantastic motto for any business, or individual, to live by. It was first suggested by Paul Buchheit (a Google employee and the creator of Gmail) at a meeting about corporate values in 2000 or 2001. Buchheit stated that they wanted something that once you put in there would be hard to take out, but also something that was a bit of a jab at their competitors. The motto has since been replaced by “do the right thing” after some controversy, but their Code of Conduct still contains the phrase “don’t be evil.”
5. The First Google Doodle Was an Out-of-Office Message
Over the years, a fun side of Google has been their “Google Doodles,” which is where they feature an artistic version of the logo for a day which typically reflects holidays, anniversaries and current events. There have been some fantastic ones over the years, but the very first came in 1998 and it served as an out-of-office message from founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. This was designed by them to notify users of their absence in case of any problems, and it was in honor of the Burning Man Festival that year which they were attending. These Doodles are now organized and published by a team of employees called “Doodlers,” and nowadays they are often animated or even interactive.
4. Searching for “Do a Barrel Roll” Causes the Page to Roll
Along with Doodles, Google likes to have some fun through all kinds of Easter eggs across their products and services. One of the best examples of this is when you search the phrase “do a barrel roll” from the search engine, which results in the page doing a complete roll. There is no real reason for this, only a bit of fun. We won’t tell you what happens, but here are a few other search terms to try next time you are bored which may just pleasantly surprise you. “askew,” “zerg rush,” “Atari breakout,” “Google in 1998” and “Super Mario Bros.” Google also likes to play April Fool’s Day pranks on users, with the first example being “MentalPlex” where they encouraged users to project a mental image of what they wanted to search whilst staring at an animated gif.
3. The Founders Tried to Sell Google in 1999
In Google’s infancy, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin almost made a move that would have had an enormous impact both on themselves and the rest of the world. As graduate students in 1999 (they met at Stanford University and Google began as a research project), they found that the search engine was taking up too much of their time and stopped them from dedicating enough time to their studies. They decided to sell Google, and turned to Excite SEO George Bell and offered to sell it for $1 million. Excite turned them down, a move which surely still haunts Bell to this day. Later that year, a $25 million round of funding was announced with venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers being the major investors. In 2015, Page and Brin’s Alphabet Inc. (the parent company of Google) posted revenue of $74.98 billion.
2. If an Employee Passes, Their Partner Receives 50% of Their Salary for 10 Years
Google are famous for taking good care of their employees, and they are known to be one of the best places to work with free haircuts, gourmet food, on-site doctors, innovative workspaces and all kinds of other terrific perks. Google also likes to care for the family of their employees, and it has been revealed that if an employee is to pass away whilst under their employ, then their spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for 10 years. Additionally, their children receive $1,000 each month until they turn 19. Pretty much all of the 34,000 Google employees qualify for these “death benefits,” and although morbid, it goes to show how Google care for their own. Additionally, they offer paternity leave as six weeks paid leave and mothers can take 18 weeks after the birth.
1. Google Processes More Than 40,000 Search Queries Every Second
Google has completely revolutionized the way in which the people use the internet, and they have also had a big hand in the staggering rise of the internet in recent times. Any time that somebody is looking for information, products, services or anything else online, their first port of call will be Google. This is because it is such an effective and fast way to find information on the internet, and people rely very heavily on it every single day. This is evident through the amount of searches that take place through the site, with Google processing over 40,000 queries every second. This equates to a mammoth 3.5 billion searches every day, and an unfathomable 1.2 trillion searches every year worldwide. This is a rate that has grown rapidly over the years, compared to a mere 10,000 queries happening per day when Google first launched in September 1998.