The word “Google” has become so ingrained into our lives that it’s hard to imagine a time when it wasn’t so ubiquitous. At the risk of sounding really old, I can remember when a robust search engine didn’t exist. But 25 years ago today, the ultimate search engine — Google — came closer to reality.
What we now know as Google started out in 1996 as a research project by two Ph.D. students at Stanford University, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Brin and Page first called their project “BackRub,” which has plenty of skeevy connotations.
“Why don’t you BackRub it?”
“I BackRubbed you the other day.”
Yeah, it’s probably for the best that they chose instead to go with Google, which stemmed from a misspelling of “googol,” the name for the large number represented by a 1 with a hundred zeroes after it.
On Sept. 15, 1997, Brin and Page registered a domain name for their project: google.com. Not long after that, they incorporated their company and began to grow it. When Google was in beta mode in 1999, it was performing over 10,000 searches a day. Google became a phenomenon in 2000, and tons of things changed.
Think about all the ways that Google is a part of your life. Gmail kicked off in 2004, with Google Maps following a year later. Google launched its Chrome web browser in 2008, and don’t forget about Google+ which debuted in 2011. (Who am I kidding? Everybody forgot about Google+ about 15 minutes after it started.)
Of course, Google has also led the way in the suppression of conservative views at the hands of Big Tech, but it has also brought a wave of other search engines, many of whom are committed to free speech and viewpoint diversity. I know a lot of people love DuckDuckGo, but I’ve become a fan of Freespoke.
Supposedly today is NationalDay. I doubt anybody is actually celebrating, but it’s a good opportunity to acknowledge the influence Google has had on all of our lives.