Google is changing the world. I bet you have a hard time remembering what it was like before you could Google something? Chances are now that you use it everyday for work and play. But do you know the crazy facts around Google’s history or its various secrets?
The people at Who Is Hosting This? have created this fascinating infographic which lists 26 crazy facts about the iconic company. For example, did you know that the founders of Google weren’t looking to start their own business and tried to sell it? Yahoo originally said no, but in 2002 offered US$3 billion. Google said no then and are now worth US$400 billion and climbing—though they’re no Apple. But for more of crazy facts about Google that you probably never knew, check out the infographic below:
26 crazy facts you never knew about Google
One of the early versions of Google could process 30-50 pages per second. Now they can process millions.
Google was first stored on a 4Gb hard drive in a Lego casing, now showcased at Stanford University. The Lego design would let the founders expand capacity easily. The index now has over 100 million Gb of data.
Did you know that Google was originally called Backrub? The name was based on the system finding and ranking pages based on back links.
Since the founders weren’t looking to start their own business, they tried to sell their search engine system. Yahoo originally said no, but in 2002 offered US$3 billion. Google said no and it’s now valued at US$400 billion.
The name Google was a misspelling. One story says the inventors misspelled the mathematical term “googol” as “google” on a cheque, and the spelling stuck. Another story says that a fellow student misspelled “googol” when looking for an available name for the company.
The company’s official motto is “Don’t be evil.”
Stanford still owns the patent for Google’s algorithm, named PageRank.
In 1998, the Google homepage included a Yahoo-like punctuation mark: the exclamation point!
The first Google doodle was an out-of-office message in 1998 when Brin and Page were travelling to Nevada to attend the Burning Man festival. The doodle was a man standing behind the second ‘o’. They wanted users to know they wouldn’t be available to fix tech issues.
The homepage is notoriously spaces because the founders didn’t know HTML to make it fancy, and they wanted a simple user interface. At first, you had to press the return button on the keyboard, as they didn’t know how to design a ‘submit’ button.
Until March 2001, the Google homepage was aligned on the right side of the page instead of centred.
The first April Fool’s joke was in 2000 when Google announced its mind-reading ability for searches called “MentalPlex.”
Google added Klingon as a language interface option in 2002.
Google communications and apps
The company’s first tweet was “I’m feeling lucky” in binary code.
In 2006, the Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionaries included the verb “google” in their listings. It is a verb, meaning to “Search for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google.”
Google’s ReCAPTCHA helps the computers learn how to read text. The computers are able to identify words scanned from books even if they’re warped.
The Google Street View has about 28 million miles of photographed roads.
Google rents 200 goats to “mow” the weeds and bushes around headquarters.
Dogs with strong bladders and friendly dispositions are welcomed in the offices, but cats are discouraged due to the number of dogs present.
Known for providing gourmet food and snacks to employees, the first Google snack in 1999 was Swedish Fish, a chewy candy.
Headquarters is full of odd decorations, such as a T-Rex nicknamed Stan, a spaceship, pink flamingos, a Lego figure, adult-sized ball pits, Android statues, and phone boxes painted in Google colours.
While employees are called Googlers, new employees are called Nooglers.
The founders and their company
Larry Page’s brother was a co-founder of eGroups, a dot-com company that Yahoo bought for about US$500 million in 2000.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford when Brin was asked to show Page, who was a new student, around the school.
Google has averaged a new company acquisition each week since 2010.
Google acquired YouTube via meetings at Denny’s.
Now that you know more about the company it’s time to find out the weird shit people search for on Google. Or, if you want a more humorous take on Google, watch this series by CollegeHumor called “If Google was a guy.”