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home : columns : icitizen
June 2, 2020


3/11/2020 1:13:00 PM
How did Google get its name?

Many of you, if not all of you, know the company Google - whether it's for their web searching, Gmail, Pixel phones, Google docs, Chrome web browser, the list goes on and on. But what made them choose the name Google?
According to BusinessInsider.com, Google co-founder Larry Page and fellow Stanford student Sean Anderson were brainstorming ideas for their data-indexing website along with other students. Anderson reportedly suggested the word "googolplex" and Page shortened the word down to just "googol." When Anderson went to check if the domain name was available to use, he accidentally made a spelling mistake and typed "google" instead.
A very honest mistake in spelling has now become a worldwide leader in technology and data. This probably would have happened no matter what the name was.
But what is a googol?
Referencing Whatis.com, a googol is 10 to the 100th power, or 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The original name they were going to use, googolplex, is 10 to the power of googol, or 1 followed by 10 to the power of 100 zeroes. These are amazingly huge numbers. So huge in fact that this number is believed to be bigger than the number of atoms in the observable universe, which estimates say is 10 to the 80th power.
With numbers this large it can be tough to imagine them in your head. Luckily, I was reading a Techspot.com article about a YouTuber named Daniel de Bruin, and he created a very simple machine that could help visualize how large a googol really is. He created a machine of connected gears and when the first gear would spin 10 times the second gear will have turned once. Once the second gear has rotated 10 times the third gear will have rotated once, so on and so forth. This seems simple, but to understand how large a googol really is the machine has 100 gears! So the first gear needs to rotate one googol amount of times for the very last gear to rotate just one time.
The video doesn't show the whole process because it would take forever, but it's a good representation of how large that number is, and how many search results Google probably has!





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