Google has the great mission to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful. However, do you know some of the true facts about Google?
35 Interesting But Little Known Facts about Google
1. In 1997, Google’s prototype was named “BackRub”.
2. The name ‘Google’ was an accident. A spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for ‘Googol’.
3. Google.com – The domain was registered on 15 September 1997.
4. Google celebrates Halloween every year in the office. The funniest dress-up was lava lamp in 2007, which I can’t visualize how it must have looked like though.
5. The first ever review of the Google Search Engine was done by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch on August 4, 1998.
6. The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. In fact it was noted that the submit button was a long time coming and hitting the RETURN key was the only way to burst Google into life.
7. Due to the sparseness of the homepage, in early user tests they noted people just sitting looking at the screen. After a minute of nothingness, the tester intervened and asked ‘Whats up?’ to which they replied “We are waiting for the rest of it”. To solve that particular problem the Google Copyright message was inserted to act as a crude end of page marker.
8. One of the biggest leap in search usage came about when Google introduced their much improved spell checker giving birth to the “Did you mean…” feature. This instantly doubled their traffic, but they had some interesting discussions on how best to place that information, as most people simply tuned that out. But they discovered the placement at the bottom of the results was the most effective area.
9. The infamous “I feel lucky” is nearly never used. However, in trials it was found that removing it would somehow reduce the Google experience. Users wanted it kept. It was a comfort button. I’m Feeling Lucky Costs Google $110 Million a Year.
10. Orkut is very popular in Brazil. Orkut was the brainchild of a very intelligent Google engineer who was pretty much given free reign to run with it, without having to go through the normal Google UI procedures, hence the reason it doesn’t look or feel like a Google application. They are looking at improving Orkut to cope with the loads it places on the system.
11. There are no restrictions on Googler’s dress code in the office, in which pajama, ugly sweater and even super hero costume were on the records.
12. Google started off its first operations in a rented Garage.
13. Gmail was used internally for nearly 2years prior to launch to the public. They discovered there was approximately 6 types of email users, and Gmail has been designed to accommodate these 6.
14. Google publishes variety of logos commemorating holidays and events. The first one on the books being a self-made “Burning Man” logo by the founders themselves.
15. Google’s first chef Charlie Ayers, ( hired in 1999 ) quit Google and opened his own restaurant in 2005.
16. Employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time working on their own projects. Google News, Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.
17. Google products appear in 117 type of languages, including 5 “fake” languages like Elmer Fudd and Swedish Chef. Spanish, German, French and Japanese are the most used search language besides English.
18. Google won the prestigious award for Technical Achievement in 2000. In the nominees list there were no search engines at all.
19. Thinking of working in Google? Well, think again if you can’t answer their mysterious and challenging puzzles. Google setup a billboard in Silicon Valley by 2004, stating “First 10 digit prime in consecutive digits of e”. Geeks who got the hint would have visited http://www.7427466391.com/ (which is not available now) with further puzzles to be solved before they were recruited.
20. Google’s first ever April Fool’s joke went online on April 1st, 2000 and was called “MentalPlex” – Google’s ability to read your mind.
21. The Google logo was never centered (as it appears today). It only appeared centered in March 2001. It was aligned to the left earlier. (And there were a lot more distractions then).
22. Google’s first employee is Craig Silverstein. Craig is the man behind “exact search” (where you get pages containing the exact search term within quotes.)
23. In 1999, when Google moved to their Paolo Alto office, there were only 19 employees in the company. Today there are 0ver 2,700 Googlers.
24. It will take Google 300 years to put the entire world’s information online.
25. Google reckons only 10% of the world’s information is online.
26. Google believes up to 20% of the online content changes every month.
27. Google uses over 300 factors to rank websites which includes PageRank.
28. According to Google, 20-25% of the search queries are unique.
29. The index of Google is 3 times larger than Yahoo’s index or MSN’s index.
30. In Google, thousands of computers are involved in processing a single search query.
31. 70% of Google engineers are working on search-related problems.
32. Google uses over 200 signals for Pagerank.
33. A lot of Googlers work on automatic translation tools. Google has the largest network of translators in the world
34. “Teaching is like learning again”. Since 2000, Google encourage teaching and learning activities among its employees, from the subject of learning Chinese to Ulysses from Greek mythology.
If you liked this article then make sure you also read – “How Well Do You Know Google? (10 Questions Quiz)“