The first question most people have is, “What heck is a “Google?” It is a play on word “googol,” which is mathematical figure 1 followed by 100 zeros. Depending on level of your love for math, this is either greatest or lamest name for a search engine. Regardless, clever kids at Google have turned it into a cultural standard.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin co-founded Google in January of 1996, then known as BackRub. The boys were in early twenties and classic computer geeks. Sergey was born in Moscow, alum of University of Michigan and visiting Stanford. Larry was assigned to be his guide. During this visit, they obviously hit it off or today nobody would give a hoot about linking strategies.
Although two men and name “BackRub” may raise some questions, name actually referred to a method for producing search engine rankings. Specifically, BackRub search engine was designed to analyze “back links” to a site. Although BackRub developed a following with those in know, nothing much happened for a few years.
As with most new businesses, boys needed some serious cash. The brass at Yahoo was interested, but initially passed. Sun Microsystems, of all companies, provided an answer. Andy Bechtolsheim was one of founders of Sun and, thus, had necessary deep pockets. $100,000 later, new search engine company was on way to stardom.
A New Name
As legend has it, BackRub became Google for a rather humorous reason. Apparently, Bechtolsheim accidentally made $100k check out to “Google, Inc.” You can make your own guess as to which one of boys said, “Hey, I have an idea for a new name.” In September of 1998, Google opened a small office in Menlo Park, California. The rest, as they say, is history.