Google was almost named differently: a fascinating story behind its name

Google was almost named differently: a fascinating story behind its name

Do you know how the name Google came to the minds of its creators? Were you aware that the most widely used search engine was initially supposed to have a completely different name? Here's its fascinating story.

The fascinating story of Google's name begins with its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, embarking on a journey to create a revolutionary search engine in the mid-90s. Their vision was to index web pages based on the links connecting them, a concept that quickly proved superior to existing algorithms. Initially published on the Stanford University website, the search engine was aptly named BackRub, reflecting its reliance on backlinks for competitive advantage.

As BackRub gained traction, indexing the entire web and consuming university bandwidth, Sean Anderson, a colleague of the dynamic duo, proposed the name "googolplex." Derived from the mathematical term "googol," representing 10 to the power of 100 (1 followed by 100 zeros), googolplex highlighted the enormity of the task at hand.

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However, fate took a serendipitous turn when Larry Page and Sean Anderson, attempting to register, inadvertently mistyped it as In September 1998, the company was officially incorporated under the name Google, marking the beginning of a legendary journey. The search engine rapidly rose to prominence, referencing over 400 billion pages by 2020, propelling Google into diverse technological realms, including hardware, mobiles, servers, AI, and YouTube.

"We chose our systems name, Google, because it is a common spelling of googol, or 10100 and fits well with our goal of building very large-scale search engines." Page and Brin write in their first paper on PageRank.

The naming saga of tech giants doesn't end with Google. Consider Amazon's origin: initially envisioned as "Abcracadabra" for its magical, one-click delivery concept, Jeff Bezos encountered a legal hurdle due to the word's unfortunate resemblance to "corpse." Undeterred, Bezos, in his pursuit of global dominance, sought a new name with an 'A' beginning. Ultimately, he settled on Amazon(e), the longest river globally, mirroring his ambition to make the company the world's foremost entity.

These anecdotes underscore the intricate and often unexpected process of naming colossal corporations, shaping their identities and contributing to their lasting legacies. The evolution from BackRub to Google and the deliberations behind Amazon's naming choices showcase the strategic decisions that play a pivotal role in the success of these tech giants. As they continue to shape the digital landscape, these names serve as enduring symbols of innovation and ambition.