Last June, Google announced that it has 310 million active Google Chrome users who are typing 60 billion words. It has further declared that googling saves 13 years worth of time everyday.
In a short span of 16 years, Google influenced changes in the way we communicate and seek information. The American Dialect Society chose the term to google as the most useful word in 2002. In 2006, both the Oxford English Dictionary and the Webster Collegiate Dictionary added the term in their list of words. Googling, on the other hand, was first used by Googleâ??s co-founder Larry Page on July 8, 1998 when he wrote on a mailing list, â??Have fun and keep googling!â?
But, would you believe, we would have been using backrubbing instead of googling if Googleâ??s founders stuck to the original name they gave to Google? During 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were then both PhD students at Stanford University in California when they created Google as a research project. Google was originally called â??BackRubâ? because this search engine checked backlinks to approximate the significance of a website as opposed to counting the number of times the search terms appeared on the page, which was how the then conventional search engines ranked search results. Googleâ??s founders termed this new way of determining a websiteâ??s relevance as PageRank.
The name Google was actually derived from â??googol,â? which mathematically means 1.0 x 10 100. They chose the term to imply that their new search engine aims to provide enormous amounts of information for people. And that is what Google has been doing since then.
Just a mere 4 years from its founding, Google started to make lasting significant steps to becoming the Google we know today. It forged a partnership with Yahoo! to become their default search provider. It was also in this year that the first 10 language versions of Google were released, adding 3 more languages four months later, upping the total language to 15. Google AdWords was also launched and the Google Toolbar released.
In 2001, Image Search was launched which gave us access to 250 million images. The following year, Google News was launched with 4,000 news sources. Froogle was laso launched (the original name for Google Product Search) which allowed us to search for items to purchase. 2003 was the year that Google took in Blogger and opened the world to bloggers. Year 2004 saw the expansion of Google Print Program (the predecessor of Google Book Search) through digital scanning partnerships with major libraries.
Google Maps and Google Earth went live in 2005 and have become unstoppable since. Google Earth became a key tool for rescue teams of Hurricane Katrina. Eventually, Google organized the Google Crisis Response which, “seeks to make critical information more accessible around natural disasters and humanitarian crises.” using Google resources and tools such asÂ Google Maps,Â Google Earth,Â Google Person Finder, andÂ Google Fusion Tables. 2005 was also the year that Google Analytics was launched to measure the impact of websites and marketing campaigns.
Another key even in Google was its acquisition of YouTube in 2006. As the popularity of broadcasting yourself rose, major personalities joined the bandwagon. The Queen of England went online with her channel in 2007, Obama launched an official Whitehouse Channel on his inauguration day, and even the Pope has his won channel.
2009 was the year that Google officially announced the development of Google Chrome OS. The following year, Google introduced Nexus One, Googleâ??s smartphone. In 2011, Google Earth reaches the one billion download mark.
With all these breakthroughs in the past, what else is there for the future? Google calls it Project Glass. And again, just like the other things Google did, it is bound to change the way we communicate and seek information. More exciting times ahead!
Image courtesy of Wikipedia