Google curiosities
Google curiosities

Google marks two decades in which it has gone from being the best way to explore the Internet to a search engine so intertwined in our daily lives that its name even became a verb: Googling.

It all started when Larry Page and Sergey Brin were students at Stanford University (USA), known for its location near Silicon Valley, and came up with a way to efficiently index and search the web.

His idea went beyond counting the number of keywords used, because the development of the software took into account factors such as relationships between web pages to help determine where they should be classified in the search results, whether in the first positions or in the last ones.

Thus, the official launch of Google took place in September 1998 in a rented garage in the city of Menlo Park, in northern California. The chosen name was a creation on the mathematical term “googol”, which refers to the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.

According to the story, Google worked for a time on servers hosted at Stanford, where a version of the search engine had been tested. Later, he moved his headquarters to Mountain View, also in California, where his main headquarters remain.

2004 marked an important date in the life of Google, since the company went out in August of 2004 to stock market, with actions with a price of 85 dollars. Interestingly, the same Google shares are now priced above $ 1,000. With Google’s time, Gmail, Maps, the Chrome browser or the Android mobile operating system also emerged.

Google also manufactures smartphones or smartphones with Android Integrated system: the Google Pixels that dominate the market along with the other major phone companies such as Samsung or Apple.

Meanwhile, he also bought the YouTube video platform in 2006 in a deal valued at $ 1.65 billion, an amount that at that time seemed astronomical and that has proven to be an excellent exercise in the vision of the future.

Although not everything has been positive. They have also had some punctures, such as Google Glass or the Google+ social network that was launched to compete directly with Facebook and has not had much real impact.

However, the progress of the company is undeniable. In the second quarter of 2018, Google submitted a profit report of 3.2 billion despite the fine of more than 5,000 million dollars imposed by the European Union.

1The original name: Backrub

Although the history of the origin of the name of Google is well known, which comes from the real word ‘Googol’ which means the number 1 followed by hundreds of zeros, this was not the first name of the famous search engine. At first, the original name of Google was Backrub. Strange, right? However, after a while the company wanted to change its name and that’s how Google was born. This name would reflect the company’s mission to make all information accessible to the world, something that seems to have worked for them quite well.

2The first employee of Google

Who was the first employee in Google? Craig Silverstein, who finished his doctorate with Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University, was the first person hired by Google in September 1998. Silverstein was for many years Director of Technology at Google until he resigned in 2012 to enter be part of the Khan Academy, an NGO with an educational vocation, since it aims to spread free education worldwide for anyone, anywhere in the world. It includes all types of subjects: mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, economics or history.

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3Benefits of being a Google worker

Google employees are offered a series of completely free services: three meals a day, no amount limit, gym, hairdressing and many more benefits. In fact, it is often said that it is one of the “best companies to work for”. But Google’s selection process is very difficult and they select the best in each field for which they recruit.

4The first Google tweet

The first and historic  Google tweet was “I feel lucky”, “I`m feeling lucky” (in English), placed in binary code. It was in February 2009. Even these exact words were later included in the button format on the home page of the Google search engine. Nowadays the button ‘I’m going to be lucky’ automatically directs us to the first search result.

5A satellite view

If you go to Google Maps, click on the satellite view and zoom out as much as possible, you can see an incredible view of our planet Earth with shadows in real time. In fact, you can see clouds in real time if you zoom twice. Surprising, right? Well, you can also see a map of the surface of Mars, thanks to Google Mars.

6Google Mirror

Do you know Google Mirror? You can access this search in or search it through Google itself as ‘Google Mirror’. What will you find? It was created purely for fun and it is a mirror page of the real Google. All the text is inverted, including the name of the search engine, ElgooG.

7Hidden games

Google has good taste and a sense of humor, especially in its design department. Over the years, the company has accumulated a large arsenal of hidden games; some of them appeared for the first time associated with some anniversary, but they are still available to play today. For example, the game Garden Gnomes was made available to netizens on June 10, 2018 on the occasion of Garden Day in Germany. In the game catapult the gnomes as far as possible. Similar to Angry Birds. There are many more hidden games, such as Atari Breakout, Pac-Man or the characteristic Solitaire.

8Google’s mascot

It is neither a dog nor a little monster. Google has a pet Tiranosaurus-rex that ‘lives’ at its headquarters in California, in Mountain View. His name is Stan and it is a very realistic replica of the powerful dinosaur. (If you walk around the facilities, the dinosaur is in the front of building 43, surrounded by pretty friendly pink flamingos). The founders bought it to remind employees not to let Google go extinct and because, they say, they found the real fossils of a dinosaur near the Google campus. Anyway, having a T-rex in the garden of the company is a curiosity, worthy of Google.

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9If you get the numbers wrong…

Let Google do it for you. Try typing cu alquier number in the search box and Google will spell it. Fabulous!

10When a worker dies

Google has always been characterized by pampering its workers. Here’s another good proof of this: If a Google employee residing in the US. UU dies while still part of the company, your surviving spouse or partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary each year for the next decade.

11Browse the cosmos

We have already discussed the possibility of seeing the Earth from satellite or the surface of our neighboring planet, Mars. But there is more. Thanks to Google Sky we can see stars, constellations, galaxies and planets with great detail. And it allows us to visit outer space with a system similar to Google Maps. You can also search the historical space map file and listen to astronomical transmissions.

12Google Don’t be evil

Don’t be evil, “do not be evil” is the famous  Google corporate slogan adopted in its beginnings by one of its founders, Sergey Brin, quoting Paul Buchheit and Amit Patel. It is an appointment that explains Google’s intention not to use the data for malicious purposes. At first, the unofficial slogan was very visible within Google but after a while it was removed even from the preface of the Google code of conduct. Many say that the company has long since abandoned good practices. Apparently, the company prefers that the document be more ‘do the right thing’ than ‘do not be evil’.

13The first doodle

Did Google take long to present its first doodle? Very little. The first doodle was released in 1998; Specifically in August of that year and remembered the celebration of the Burning Man Festival held every year in Black Rock (Nevada, USA). The doodle left us a message of ‘I’m out of the office’. And because Larry and Sergey were going to the Burning Man, they wanted people to know where the crew of Google would be for a few days, so they added the festival’s logo to the Google logo. That’s how the doodles were born.

14Evolution of Google

One of the first versions of Google was able to process about 30 or 50 pages per second. Now Google can process millions of pages per second. But that is not all. If we go back to what occupied Google in its infancy, it would fit in approximately 10 hard drives of 4 GB (in fact this stored version of Google is in a Lego case exposed by Stanford University). The Lego design would allow the founders to expand the storage capacity easily. What is striking is that now, the Google index has more than 100 million GB of data.

15Curiosities about the GooglePlex

Google rents 200 goats to “cut” the grass in the garden and contaminate less and make less noise. Of course, Google is not a pioneer with this idea, because the City of San Francisco, for example, also uses goats as a lawnmower.

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Workers can go with their dogs – as long as they are friendly and have control of their stools – but cats do not, since there are many dogs in the office…

The first appetizer of Google in 1999 was Swedish Fish, a chewy candy.

The GooglePlex site is full of strange decorations, such as the aforementioned T-Rex, a spaceship, a Lego figure, Android statues and phone boxes painted in the colors of Google.
The employees call themselves Googlers; the new ones are Nooglers.

16Google has its own satellite

It is possible that you guessed it in our previous annotations. The company Google has its own satellite (since 2008) to capture the images of Google Earth and Google Maps. He did it, among other things, so as not to have to sign complicated international agreements to obtain high resolution images of any corner of the Earth. Its name is GeoEye-1 and the satellite orbits the Earth at 680 kilometers.

17Curiosities about the founders and the company

Larry Page’s brother  was a co-founder of eGroups, a dotcom company that Yahoo bought for about $ 500 million in 2000.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford when they asked Brin to teach the school to Page, I was a new student.

Since 2010, Google has acquired an average of 2 new companies each month.


Despite Google’s extensive deployment throughout the world, access to several of the company’s services is restricted in 7 places on the planet: China, Cuba, Crimea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. In these last two countries, in North Africa and the Middle East, Google Earth can not offer images of any of them due to government requirements. Censorship. This happens since 2008.

19Digitization of all books

Google wants to scan absolutely all the books in the world by the year 2020, which would imply an estimated digitalization of 130 million volumes. The World Brain project began at the beginning of the 21st century with the aim of building a gigantic digital library that can be shared with the whole world. However, more than half of the scanned books were copyrighted, and writers from around the world launched a campaign to stop Google, which culminated in the courts of New York in 2011.

20The history of Street View

Google used a camel to create the part of Street View corresponding to the desert. But it is not the first time that the animals are immersed in Google Street View photographs. Street View, which started in 2007, has grown thanks to the photographs taken with cameras located in the most unique vehicles: snowmobiles, pedicabs, bicycles, cars and even in a backpack called Trekker. In the search for Google to trace the world through photos, they have captured incredible scenes of penguins, chimpanzees, dolphins or camels as protagonists. Now, Maps is almost a mirror of the real world.

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