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Let’s Talk About The History of Google In An Enjoyable Informative Way

Once upon a time, a few amazing things were happening. For example, ‘Friends’ was being filmed and Central Perk soon became the coolest coffee shop in the world. JanSport was the only acceptable backpack for school. Everyone was talking about Destiny’s Child - not Beyoncé. We were watching Pokémon on TV and playing with Pokémon Pogs, instead of watching on YouTube or playing Pokémon Go...

By dildarPublished 2 years ago 5 min read

Around that time there were two guys, Larry Page and Sergey Brin who both were in San Francisco (if you are looking for the British singer, see Larry Page.) When Larry Page had been accepted to Stanford University but hadn’t decided whether to attend or not, Sergey Brin voluntarily guided potential first-yearers around. People were describing the summer of 1995 like “It was hot, dry and sunny!” and, they met in that “hot, dry and sunny” summer!

It was not love at first sight, but Larry Page and Sergey Brin found their common points and came together.

Conversation Between Larry Page and Sergey Brin

While A History of Google Had Started to Be Written, The Future for Google Was Being Designed in A Garage

It’s not always easy-peasy to build a history, and it wasn’t easy to build a history for Google.

After Larry Page decided to study at Stanford University, he selected an American professor of computer science and “human-computer” interaction pioneer Terry Winograd as his advisers. Larry was working on a research project involving web search because he was thinking that the Web was very interesting for its mathematical characteristics. In his humble opinion, computer scientists love graphs and considering his background, it was very obvious that Page loved graphs, too. Page thought The World Wide Web may have been the largest graph that was built on links ever created. It was easy to understand when there were only two web pages that were linked. Web page X linked to web page Y, okay. But, wait! How about web page X? (who-was-Linking-to-whom!) Which pages were linked the web page X? Well, that’s the point where backward hugs forward.

What kind of insights would Page get if he could analyze all of the backlinks and map out the link structure of the web?

Well, the answer to these questions brings us the point where Page and Brin’s work has started.

For answers to these questions, Page started to work on backlinks and name this project BackRub.

Google’s History Began with BackRub

Google’s history has started to be written, but it needed time to get called Google first.

After all, what is a link without a citation?

Page wasn’t thinking small but very big. When he wanted to map out the value of the web’s connections and see what was going on backwards, he knew that it would cost him a lot. Allowing him to map “the whole web” (probably 10 million documents with an untold number of links between them) needed money and machines. So he went to his adviser, Terry Winograd to ask for the money and machines.

He had lots of resources to crawl and analyze, and these things were much more than the usual bounds of a student project. Page wouldn’t know what he would face, when he started building his crawler.

The Perfect Duo: Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Larry Page and Sergey Brin came together after their first Stanford-guide-date. The idea of Page was too complex and that complexity was luring Sergey Brin to the job.

Sergey Brin's Opinion to BackRub

Larry Page and Sergey Brin created a citation-ranking system, PageRank. “The idea behind PageRank was that you can estimate the importance of a web page by the web pages that link to it,” Brin said.

“It’s all recursive.” Page said. “In a way, how good you are is determined by who links to you and who you link to determines how good you are. It’s all a big circle.”

Larry Page and Sergey Brin realized that BackRubs’ results were so much better than the other existing search engines. In Page’s opinion, the search engines like AltaVista and Excite were only looking at text instead of another signal (PageRank). Larry Page and Sergey Brin hacked a BackRub search tool to test if it worked well in a search application. And what they got? What they got from hacking was that the search tool’s results were so far superior to the usual search engines. It was searching only the words in page titles and ranked mostly on relevant keywords.

What was BackRub-PageRank combined good at?

PageRank was really-really-reeeeally powerful analyzing on-page-text, web page titles, meta tags, and anchor tags!

Every query had an answer on the other search engines. BUT they haven’t been good at sorting results by relevance. Well, it was the point where PageRank did better than the others! By PageRank, people easily catch their search term at the top of the list.

What can we say? Larry Page and Sergey Brin were so successful, intellectual, and confident.

In 1997, the search engine was made available by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They started with Stanford University first, then to the general public. Do you know what was happening in late 1998? Two students who were studying at Stanford University were getting more popular with their search engine because it has been serving more than 1.000 queries a day.

Your service, brand or product might be very good and that’s a good thing, but the hardest part is always finding a good name for it. Even Larry Page and Sergey Brin weren’t thinking too much about business stuff (they were keen on writing their research down and publishing), it was kind of need to name the service. While Larry Page and Sergey Brin were trying to find lots of name combinations, they misspelled the “googol” and realized that:

It doesn’t have a special significance in mathematics but what it meant; Googol is a 1, followed by 100 zeros. It means everything in existence with only a googol (it’s really hard not to write Google while trying to write “googol”). What do you think? Doesn’t everything exist with Google or its services? Even if you’re not a fan of Google, you can’t deny that everything with past, now, and the future is in existence with Google.

The popularity of Google was getting bigger day by day. It wasn’t a simple project anymore, and its requirements were getting more than it had. What would you first do when your service would become so popular and need to be updated? Well, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started improving their “fabulous” service, adding full-text search and more pages to the index. They realized quickly that their computing resources were not enough and they were officially broke. Considering they were still students, the first thing for them to do was to borrow money and buy new computers. Larry Page’s dorm room turned into their machine lab and Sergey Brin’s dorm room turned in to their office and programming center.

Ever saw the movie “Into the Wild”? Christopher is all alone, in the middle of nowhere. No telephone, no people, no food, no nothing, nothing, and nothing. It was kinda like this for them what they’ve been through for a digital development. You’re on a digital development without money and, also the other kind of stuff that’s required to have money again.


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