Eight facts about Google for its 20th year

Posted on January 4, 2018

 

Google, the go-to search engine and provider of all kinds of high-tech services we couldn’t do without, was founded in September 1998. Now that the calendars have turned to 2018, it means that the Californian superpower will celebrate its 20th birthday later this year.

It’s certainly been a crazy couple of decades for the company, which started as a research project by two Stanford University students and has developed into the most visited website in the world, with a huge army of other products under its wing as well.

Since it’s a milestone year for Google, here’s a selection of facts you might not know about the company:

1. Google is named after a number

Google gets its name from ‘googol’, which is a very large number. The simplest way to describe the number is one, followed by 100 zeros. Given this is more than the number of stars in the universe though, it’s a difficult figure to visualise.

2. Technically, it isn’t a search engine

If we’re being pedantic (which we are), Google does not meet the criteria of what a ‘search engine’ is, according to the EU. However, neither does Bing, Yahoo! or anything else.

3. Google knows people can’t spell, so owns other similar URLs

Try going to gooogle.com or googel.com. You’ll notice that you get directed straight to the Google homepage. Google has realised people often mistype and has acquired these URLs to compensate.

4. We mostly ask Google about the weather

In a list of what it calls “true keywords”, SiegeMedia and SEMRush discovered last year that ‘weather’ was the most popular search on Google. This was in the U.S. too, proving that it’s not just us Brits who like talking about the weather!

5. More than one in seven Google searches are totally original

Google churns out a lot of results for the same search terms again and again, such as ‘weather’, ‘maps’ and ‘translate’. Perhaps surprisingly though, Google has revealed that 15% of its searches are for terms that have never been Googled before.

6. People regularly Google ‘Google’

Between 2005 and 2011, the number of people using Google to search for the word ‘Google’ soared. It’s likely that they do it to access tools like Google News and Google Maps, but there are people who prefer to use the search bar in their browser to direct themselves to the Google homepage, then perform their search.

7. The company doesn’t like the phrase “to Google”

Last September, Google advised web developers not to use its name as a verb. Instead, it recommends we should “search with Google”.

8. It wants to have 10,000 human reviewers of content this year

Largely in an effort to combat YouTube misuse, Google is planning to boost its number of human reviewers into five figures in 2018.

Google was founded on September 4th, 1998, although as we’ve seen before, it seems a bit indecisive about when its actual birthday is. No doubt it will let us know whenever it feels like turning 20.

John Murray

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.

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