Google is today a world power in the field of online services, so huge that it is hard to realize that it was not created as a result of some Big Bang or other similarly spectacular event. Like every brand, it had its humble beginnings, lean years and a stage of rehearsals – both those that were spectacularly successful and those that are usually preceded by the sentence: “hold me a beer”. That is why today we will tell you a bit about the history of the Google brand and its gradual conquering the hearts and browsers of Internet users.
Google history – where does the name come from?
The company known as Google was founded on three main elements: American Larry Page, Russian from Sergey Brin and…mistake. When looking for a name for their company, the gentlemen drew on what was at hand, and the most at hand at that time was Page’s roommate from college. He came up with the idea that the ideal name for a product intended to organize unimaginable amounts of websites would be the name of a large number. However, a million or a billion sounded too little spectacular, because there was a proposal to christen the company as googol. Googol actually means a huge number, as much as 10 to the hundredth power.
However, luck wanted that Larry Page, checking if such a domain was free, made a typo (it cannot be ruled out that math in the form of percentages contributed to it) and entered “google”, which was free as a non-existent word. A contented founding father bought the domain and it stayed that way. The bug was discovered very quickly, the very next day, but the googol address was still busy, so the gentlemen decided to stick to the name chosen by the accident.
Before this memorable event happened, however, what was called Google was also developing under different names. So let’s step back a bit to see the real beginning of the most popular search engine in the world. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met while studying at Stanford University, and rumor has it that they didn’t like each other a bit. However, the initial animosities quickly turned into sympathy and in 1995 the gentlemen decided to create an innovative project for those times – a system that would determine the value of individual websites and, after entering a query by the user, create a list of them – from the best results to the least significant.
The tool was originally named Backrub. This name comes from the main and initially the only factor that was taken into account when creating the page ranking, i.e. backlinks – external links. The way of creating the list was therefore very transparent – the more pages linking to a given site (and therefore recommended it), the higher position in the search engine was that site had. While the tool itself was enthusiastically received, its name had a much cooler welcome, so the search engine was renamed PageRank. It was patented under this name, but eventually the gentlemen changed the name once again – this time to the well-known Google.
Google search engine – the first investments in the brand
Initially, Page and Brin developed their project at university, but when this became hampered by the distrust of college computer scientists, they moved to where the best ideas are known to be born – the garage. The lease of the research area was the first step in the company’s development – and certainly great for humanity. It was possible thanks to the first major investor, Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun. He invested 100,000 dollars in the emerging brand, thanks to which in 1998 the gentlemen officially registered the company and started operating outside the walls of Stanford University.
In the garage where one of the most complicated algorithms in the world was hatching, there were initially only the most necessary things: a carpet, a ping pong table, and some computers. According to various sources, the design of the first Google headquarters was a tribute to all sorts of saturated, bright colors – this passion for vivid colors is still visible today not only in Google headquarters, but even in the brand’s logo.
Google Top Dog
The following years brought technological development, new engineers whose names hardly anyone remembers, and one dog that everyone remembers. Yoshka belonged to one of the engineers – Ursa Hölzle – and was the first four-legged creature to enter Google’s headquarters. He was named Google Top Dog, and he probably visited the company more regularly than many of its employees. His appearance was even noted on the official website with the history of the brand. Yoshka was well known and loved by the staff and even couriers. Already at a later stage, when Google took its current headquarters, he often appeared in front of one of the company’s cafes, which is why years later it was named after him.
Googleplex – the company’s headquarters in Mountain View
It is also worth writing a few words about the seat itself. The company moved from the garage to the complex in Mountain View, now known as Googleplex. At first, of course, Google only rented some of the premises, but as it expanded, it grew more and more, and finally the company bought the entire 47,000 square meter complex. The facility consists of over 20 buildings, which means that employees have to travel long distances, which is why in many places you can find company bikes in the Google colors.
The headquarters of the company developed in a natural way what began with a carpet and a ping pong table, i.e. attractions for employees. The complex has a lot of rubber balls, foosball tables, several beach volleyball courts, two swimming pools, mini golf, a swimming pool with colorful balls, chairs for naps, a dozen cafes, canteens with delicacies from around the world and many other amenities. An interesting addition is, for example, a hairdressing bus, where employees can take care of a haircut for free. Employees can also eat free of charge in all pubs and food trucks located within the complex. Googleplex is also a place where you can see the eccentric hobbies of the founder of the brand, such as a replica of the first private manned spacecraft or the skeleton of a tyrannosaur.
Work culture at Google
Along with the technological development, the high organizational culture also grew in Google, which can be seen for example in the example of employee bonuses. Google has built a new quality in terms of relations between employees and on the employee-employer level. The company is known for leaving a lot of freedom in terms of both clothes and work. It focuses on free development, loose contact and a friendly atmosphere at every level of the organization.
One of the most important business principles of Google is don’t be evil, which can be translated as “don’t be evil” or “do not do evil”. In the top 10 maxims of the brand, we find one that says that you can also be serious without a suit. Hairdressing in the workplace may seem like a fun idea, but this is also the bigger idea – since employees spend many hours in the complex, the company wants to save them from wasting time and energy searching for essential services elsewhere. For privileges, employed specialists repay with creative ideas and effective work – according to Google’s tenth maxim – great is not enough.
In addition to the flagship product, i.e. the Internet search engine, Google has also developed other projects over the years, many of which have been extremely successful. These include, among others:
– Google Maps – a huge system containing maps and aerial photos, connected with the so-called Street View, i.e. photos of individual streets, squares, facilities, thanks to which we can take virtual walks around the world. It is also a navigation tool used by many drivers.
– Google Translate – a Google translator who was rather a joke some time ago. Today it is refined to such an extent that it is possible to obtain consistent, logical translations thanks to it. Currently, it also translates texts from photos in real time, makes transcriptions, even including punctuation, and changes the language versions of entire websites.
– Google Chrome – in addition to the Google search engine, it also offers a browser for computers and mobile devices with a constantly growing list of add-ons and extensions.
– YouTube – Google did not design the largest online video viewing platform, but acquired it in 2006, the most expensive transaction in the company’s history.
– Chromecast – is a device that allows you to transfer movies and music from your phone to the TV, if you do not have the Smart version of the receiver.
– Android – one of the most popular operating systems for mobile devices purchased by Google in 2005.
– Gmail – Internet mail with a well-developed message filtering algorithm, thanks to which mailboxes are protected against spam.
– Calendar – a tool that allows you not only to plan your own events, but also share them with others. Many companies use this system to synchronize and arrange team meetings, recruitment, meetings with clients, etc.
– Google Drive – a place in the cloud for storing texts, photos, videos, presentations, etc., thanks to which we always have access to our files.
– Documents, Sheets, Presentations (Google Docs) – office programs in which you can create content, tables, presentations and share them with other users. They automatically save a history of changes, so the owner knows who has made changes to it and when.
– Google Ads – an advertising system that allows companies to promote themselves on the search network, YouTube, mobile applications and over 2 million pages owned by Google advertising partners.
– Google AdSense – a program that allows you to join the network of advertising partners of Google. There, website owners can provide advertising space on their websites and earn money from advertising created through Google.
– Google My Business – a tool that allows you to create an electronic business listing. Thanks to this, users of the search engine and google maps can find the most important data about the company gathered in one place: name, address, phone number, website, social media, photos, customer opinions, type of services offered, etc.
– Google Analytics – a tool that allows you to analyze the behavior of Internet users on our website. If we implement the Analytics tag on your website, we can use many statistics that show the effectiveness of activities so far and allow us to develop a strategy to increase conversion.
– Google Play – an online store from which we can download applications with tools, games, music, etc. to our phone.
– GooglePay – a system that allows you to make payments online and in stationary stores by phone.
– Google Assistant – an intelligent system that can communicate verbally with a user of mobile devices. With it, you can search for information, save events in the calendar, shop online, control smart home devices or recognize objects thanks to the camera. The Google Assistant can also be asked questions and given instructions – for example, to sing a song.
– Google Meet – a video communication tool. It includes, among others, chat, screen sharing and presentation services, so it can also be used for remote business or training communication.
Today, Google is a huge company employing approximately 100,000 people. It generates billions in profits and is based in various countries on five continents. It is also still in the top places in the ranking of the best employers in the world. He is constantly developing new products to facilitate our work and provide online entertainment. What else can we expect from a global giant? We will probably find out soon.