Oh, Google…it has grown up so fast. It seems like only yesterday it was a tiny project launched by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It went from a single search engine to the largest internet conglomerate in the world, dominating the web entirely.
They have their hand in social media and networking, shopping, travel, academia…really, you would be hard pressed to find anything online they have not been involved with in some way, directly or indirectly.
It is easy to look at them as our Digital Masters and forget the more humble roots that they sprang from. Here are a couple of ‘firsts’ from the company that has grown into a powerhouse.
Google’s crawlers had to start from somewhere. The starting point was actually Larry Page’s own Standford page, which he released the first bot to. It indexed the page and moved on, creating the massive database we use today.
In 1996, Google was launched as a Standford web page, rather than as its own site. That was its first incarnation, which lasted for a year as it slowly gained steam and eventually its founders thought it was time it got its own place. That was in 1997, where it became Google.com.
What is interesting is that during this time, it was labeled as ‘Beta’ for the first time, and available for widespread use. So in a way, it has had two first home pages.
Google didn’t have an official logo until 1997, when it was moved to its own site. The original was created by co-founder Sergey Brinn, who made the colorful image we know today using GIMP. It would always remain in this general incarnation, including the same colors minus a slight change from orange to yellow on the second ‘O’.
It is well known that Brinn and Page did not have a lot of luck catching the attention of investors in the beginning. But they did manage to turn one head, and it landed them their first $100,000. That initial investor was Sun Microsystem’s founder Andy Bechtolsheim, who will forever be credited with having helped the biggest online company in the world take their first steps.
Fun fact: Google was not incorporated when he invested. But the check said Google Inc., so the duo decided they should probably make the title official.
Other than the founders themselves, the first person to work for the company was Craig Silverstein, a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Stanford University. He left the company in 2012, having played a major role in the company and products overall development. Without him, you can be sure Google would not be the success it is todat.
Silverstein now works for Khan University.
Have any firsts for Google that you think are especially important or interesting? Let us know in the comments!
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Google Search is one of the most used tools on the internet. If you expand it to all of Google’s services, it is definitely the primary powerhouse of the web, They seem to have their hand in almost everything, and what they don’t yet control they are probably trying to find a way to. It is a company that was created to expand, and it is now a regular part of our daily lives.
But their search engine was not made for everything. There are quite a few areas where it has tried – and failed – to be the best choice.
This topic was brought up on Quora not too long ago. The top purpose voted by users of things not to use Google for was medical research information. Even Google Scholar isn’t that reliable, and they suggest Embase, Medline and Pubmed as the three primary resources for searching out medical studies. Though poster Erica Friedman points out that a comprehensive search will take quite a few more search engines.
Another answer that stood out to me was ‘people searches’. Suzanne Boland says what many of us have probably discovered: Google is useless for searching out people. You are better off doing a deep web search through a specific engine. For example, Spokeo or Pipl. These let you search by name, location, email, address, ect. They will bringWhat NOT to Use Google Search For up public information and social media profiles, respectively.
One thing I have found is terrible for finding results on Google is torrents. I don’t mean illegal ones, but those that are specifically authorized by creative content licenses. These are so difficult to find using a Google search, which gives preference to illegal download sites and trackers. Which is why I use legal torrent search engines and sites instead, which only track those that the creators have given as an open source project. You can find a list of these here.
What are some uses you think Google is useless for? Let us know in the comments!
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