“Some say Google is God. Others say Google is Satan. But if they think Google is too powerful, remember that with search engines unlike other companies, all it takes is a single click to go to another search engine.”
If the search engine Google were human, today would be the day, well roughly, that it would celebrate its 14th birthday. ( I imagine that if Google were an actual teenager, it would likely be one of those high-achieving, overzealous types that stay in to study on the weekends, occasionally meeting with a friend or two for a virtual game of Dungeons & Dragons, daydreaming of the day it got to kiss a real girl.)
A company that has so deeply affected the day-to-day lives of millions seems more monolithic than it does turbulent teen. Today the company marked its 14th birthday with a Google Doodle birthday cake. Since the internet and Google have become so integrated into modern life, it’s an unnerving that the company hasn’t been around for longer.
Back in 1997–the year Bill Clinton kicked off his second presidential term, Princess Diana was killed and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa died, and a legion of gamers eagerly received the very first version of Grand Theft Auto–Larry Page and Sergey Brin scrapped the name “BackRub” for the search engine they were developing, in favor of “Google” and in doing so, gave birth to the internet leviathan we know today.
Named after the math vocab word “googol” (the number one trailed by 100 zero) it was their way to describe the company’s ambition to “organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.”
And, with that, the world changed.
Despite its controversial stances on personal privacy, its history of government-backed censored search in China and its recent handling of videos with anti-islamic sentiments on Google-owned YouTube, if its in-house motto of “Don’t be evil” is given credence, it’s arguable that the invention was, ultimately, for the better.
As Page once said, “It is a tremendous responsibility for us to have all the eyes focused on what we do and give people exactly what they need when they ask for it…The ultimate search engine would basically understand everything in the world and it would always give you the right thing. And we’re a long, long way from that.”
Each day, the search engine processes a staggering 4,717,000,000 search queries. In 2011, Google’s assets were estimated to be worth $72.574 billion.
Like Google’s homepage doodles? Watch the video below that depicts the think tank behind the homepage cartoons.
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://pageonepower.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/528491_289217307830059_2128891370_n.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] With her background in news and magazine writing and editing, Kaisja Clark found a new home at Boise’s Page One Power. With lots of irons in the fire, it’s easiest to say that she serves as a writer, editor, social media manager and marketer, where she finds an outlet for her creative side and her passion for writing, and the ever-changing online world of social media . She welcomes comments and questions, free life advice and cookies, so shoot her an email at kclark.pageonepower@gmail dot com.[/author_info] [/author]