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Larry Page (b. 1973), Sergey Brin (b. 1973)
“The seed for what would become Google started with Stanford graduate student Larry Page’s curiosity about the organization of pages on the World Wide Web. Web links famously point forward. Page wanted to be able to go in the other direction.
To go backward, Page built a web crawler to scan the internet and organize all the links, named BackRub for the backlinks it sought to map out. He also recognized that being able to qualify the importance of the links would be of great use as well. Sergey Brin, a fellow graduate student, joined Page on the project, and they soon developed an algorithm that would not only identify and count the links to a page but also rank their importance based on quality of the pages from where the links originated. Soon thereafter, they gave their tool a search interface and a ranking algorithm, which they called PageRank. The effort eventually evolved into a full-blown business in 1998, with revenue coming primarily from advertisers who bid to show advertisements on search result pages.
In the following years, Google acquired a multitude of companies, including a video-streaming service called YouTube, an online advertising giant called DoubleClick, and cell phone maker Motorola, growing into an entire ecosystem of offerings providing email, navigation, social networking, video chat, photo organization, and a hardware division with its own smartphone. Recent research has focused on deep learning and AI (DeepMind), gearing up for the tech industry’s next battle—not over speed, but intelligence.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary both added the word Google as a verb in 2006, meaning to search for something online using the Google search engine. At Google’s request, the definitions refer explicitly to the use of the Google engine, rather than the generic use of the word to describe any internet search.
On October 2, 2015, Google created a parent company to function as an umbrella over all its various subsidiaries. Called Alphabet Inc., the American multinational conglomerate is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and has more than 70,000 employees worldwide.”
SEE ALSO: First Banner Ad (1994)
Google’s self-described mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Batelle, John. “The Birth of Google.” Wired, August 1, 2005. https://www.wired.com/2005/08/battelle.
Brin, Sergey, and Lawrence Page. “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.” In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on World Wide Web 7. Brisbane, Australia: Elsevier, 1998, 107–17.