In 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, while studying computer science at Stanford University collaborated to work on a search engine known as the BackRub. Considering the popularity that BackRub was gaining, the duo in 1997 decided to give it a brand new name.
After too much of discussion (or call it a brainstorming) the two came up with ‘Google’ something that sounded like ‘Googol’ a mathematical term. At that point of time Google operated within the Stanford University website with its domain names being google.stanford.edu and z.stanford.edu.
However, there are numerous rumours surrounding the word ‘Google’. Many believe that the actual name had to be Googol but then a slight typo turned it into ‘Google’ the name that we presently know of. No doubt, the name surely did derive from the word ‘Googol’, but expecting Standford graduates to spell it wrong is definitely not justified. Well, this is just one of the instances.
So, what is Googol and how do we link it with the search engine that we know of? Googol is a large number that equals to the number 1 followed by 100 zeros which in other words can be thought of an ‘infinity’. The term ‘Google’ similarly referred to the duo’s mission of organizing an infinite amount of information over the World Wide Web.
Now, if you are interested in finding out where the word ‘Googol’ came from, here is a bit of it. Dr. Edward Kasner a renowned mathematician from New York once asked his nephew to come up with a decent name for a very large number. While most kids would come up with something like zillion or gazillion, his nephew popped out the word ‘Googol’ and the rest is history. In 1940, Kasner along with James R Newman co-wrote a book called ‘Mathematics and the Imagination’, in which the term ‘Googol’ was first used. Finally, a little bit of play with the word ‘Googol’ led to ‘Google’.