March 12 is an important day in the calendar of worldwide communications, especially this year. Little did Tim Berners-Lee (now Sir Tim) know the significance of his actions 30 years ago, for it was on March 12 1989 that he ‘invented’ the World Wide Web.
Little did he suspect what ‘platforms’ his idea might give birth to. Everything from scientific and medical research to connecting with family and friends at opposite sides of the world to online shopping, gambling, music streaming, podcasting and more!
Sir Tim, however, is not too happy about the way the World Wide Web has developed. Security of personal data is of prime concern to him. So much so that he has begun a new quest – called ‘Solid’.
And Then There Was Google
Just one word stands head and shoulders above the rest as being synonomous with the World Wide Web …… Google. Google.com was registered as a domain on 15 September 1997. Since then it has evolved from being a basic ‘use me to find something simple’ search engine into an online tool that serves many aspects of daily life.
Today people use Google for a myriad of things from email, Google Chrome and Android to maps, news, videos, online shopping, image finding, local search and more.
How Much Do You Know About Google?
Let’s face it, it’s easy to find out just about anything using the Google search engine. With literally billions of web pages indexed, it’s actually hard for people to keep things quiet these days! However, it is suprising how many people know little of Google’s beginnings and key development steps. Here are some things you might find of interest:
- Google was almost NOT called Google. Founders Page and Brin met at Stanford University in the mid 90’s and initially came up with the name ‘BackRub’. Thankfully they changed that before launching the business. When someone asks you a question it would not sound quite so cool if you answered them with:
‘You should BackRub that one!’
- Google was started in a garage like so many other big tech businesses. However, it was not Page and Brin’s own garage. They used their friend Susan Wojcicki’s garage in Menlo Park (1989).
- Susan Wojcicki has worked at Google ever since. She is now the CEO of YouTube.
- Google Images and Google News were not born out of a meeting of minds in the creative department, as is often the case at the big tech companies. In each instance Google discovered a demand within their searches that they could not fulfil.
- Google Images was created in response to people searching in 2000 for Jennifer Lopez and the iconic Versace dress she wore at the Grammy Awards. Google had no easy way to deliver results to those searching!
- Google News was created in response to a more serious demand when millions of people around the world searched for the latest news on the the 9/11 attacks in 2002. Google said that their News database was an experiment in news browsing – a way to deliver updates on events and to document consequences.
- When did Google first claim to have indexed 1 billion pages? You might be surprised to learn that it was 19 years ago (26 June 2000)
- There are now over 1.4 billion monthly active users of Gmail.
- We all know (and use) the verb to google but when did it officially became part of everyday language? Some 13 years ago, when it was added to the US Merriam-Webster dictionary.
- YouTube became part of the Google empire in 2006 for a purchase price of $1.65 billion. With more than 1.9 billion monthly users, it appears to have been a worthwhile investment.
- Google’s principal revenue stream is advertising. That is not surprising in itself but almost half of that income is generated by their cost per click AdWords/AdSense platforms. In 2017 the income from that sector alone was over $100 million.
- Google Translate is now so popular that it translates 143 billion words in 100+ languages every day!
- Google became the world’s first company to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. This happened in April 2018. For every kilowatt of energy that Google uses, it actually creates a kilowatt of purchased renewable energy. With data centres in North and South America, Asia and Europe this is a remarkable achievement.
- Google Maps’ data spans 40 million miles of road! It can give driving directions in no less than 199 countries.
- If you go to work for Google then expect to be treated a little differently on your first day! Apparently, all new employees are called “Nooglers” and on their first Friday they have to wear a propeller beanie cap!
Still want to know more? Check out Wikipedia’s page about Google. The information is amazing, but I warn you, it’s not exactly light reading!