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The Google Trap » Did you know? Did you know? - The Google Trap

Did you know?

The big announcement
“Google will launch the world’s largest search engine” – In case you want to know how everything began, you should read the first press release issued on 26. June 2000. One billion websites were searched “back then” – today this amount has increased at least tenfold.

Google went online with a Beta-Version for the first time on 7 September 1998. Since then Google’s appearance hasn’t changed significantly, but the logo has been improved.

Google’s first appearance
“The Google Book”, written by Vincent Cartwright Vickers, was published in 1913 and is about a gruesome and atrocious monster named “Google”. Six years later the comic strip “Barney Google”, illustrated by Billy De Beck, was released. It was published in 21 countries; translated into 11 languages and introduced several slang phrases including “sweet mama” or “hotsie-totsie”.

The digit one and many zeros
The word “Google” originated from the misspelling of “Googol” – denoting the incredibly large number 1 followed by 100 zeros. The American mathematician Edward Kasner first used the expression Google in his book “Mathematics and the Imagination”. Google uses this name to “express the company’s goal, which is to organize the huge amount of information available on the web”.

The Google song
“Barney Google (with the Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes)” was the first Google Song, which was inspired by the “Barney Google” comic strip in 1920.

The Google colours
It is no coincidence that the blue, red, yellow and green colours of the Google logo are a reference to Lego building blocks. At the early stages of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin constructed computer chassis out of coloured Lego blocks, which they masked with a transparent glass top. While the computer encasements became more professional over the years, the Google-logo kept its colourful look.

The 100.000 Dollar check
Internet users should also thank a German for the existence of Google. The co-founder of the Sun Microsystems, Andy Bechtolsheim, supported Brin and Page’s idea with a 100.000 Dollar check. They had met with Bechtolsheim in a coffee shop and presented their idea to him. He gave them the money and is quoted as having said “make something out of it, try your luck”. But this seed capital did not suffice – only six months later Page and Brin asked the investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, for additional financial support. They are still on Google’s Board of Directors.

Going Public
At Google’s initial public offering (IPO) in August 2004, 272,2 million shares were sold at a share-price of $ 85, most of them to Google employees. The shares reached their highest value with $ 747 in the fall of 2007. On 1 February 2008 the company was worth $190 billion.

Google in the German “Duden” encyclopedia
The same year Google went public, the verb “to google” was entered into the 23. edition of the renowned German encyclopedia “Duden”.

Nearly all roads lead to Google
In addition to its original domain, Google has also registered several domains in which “Google” is misspelled and written with numerous “o’s”. These registrations were made as a preventive measure against so-called “domain grabbers”, who benefit from these typos. It is a popular trick to secure misspelled domains. After all, users oftentimes make a typo when entering an address and could then end up on a domain-grabbed site. Google therefore registered (3 o’s), (5 o’s) and (7 o’s).

Google is not always Google
Austrians, Germans and Swiss “google”, Finns “googlata”, Japanese “guguru”, Croations “googlati”, Lithuanians “pagooglinti” and Poles “googlawac”.

The word “Googleblock” was first used by Ian Douglas in an article published in the British newspaper “Daily Telegraph” on 26 January 2006. The article focused on the censorship demanded by China regarding the Google-index – certain entries were to be removed from the search engine in China. This is what Douglas called the “Googleblock”.

Google bomb
The “Google bomb” is an attempt to manipulate a search result. If certain phrases are entered into the search engine, the website of a politician or a person who is meant to be slandered, will show up at the top of the search result list. A Google bomb is created if hundreds of sites are linked to a so-called “anchor text”. The first Google bomb was created by the American Adam Mathes in 2001: if you typed “talentless hack” into the search mask, it was linked to his “friend” Andy Pressman’s website. The method became increasingly popular: if you googled the word “failure” you would reach the website of the White House and if someone searched the word “liar”, he would end up on Tony Blair’s website. The website of the former Austrian finance minister, Karl Heinz Grasser, was linked to the phrase “complete incompetence” on the domain.

Google ghost
If Google does not find a name, a term, or a phrase, then you have a clear case of “Google ghost”. If you receive an email from a sender whose existence you cannot verify through Google or who does not exist according to Google – this is considered a Google ghost.

The plural of Google does not denote numerous search engines; Googles is the description of those pages that return when conducting a search query. For example, if you search for “Paris Hilton”, a list of 55.6 million Googles come up within 0,24 seconds.

A “Googlewhack” rarely happens. This term describes a Google search query in which one or a maximum of two words only return a single result – “results 1-1 of 1”. People who exclusively search for Googlewhacks are called Googlewhackers. You will find an updated list of Googlewacks here:

Google search
Google search queries can be made in 35 languages besides English, and they include Chinese, Greek, and Hebrew and even Clingonian.

Google millionaires
Google is probably the company with the most millionaires among its employees. Especially during the first years, Google attempted to “console” employees by offering them company shares instead of higher wages. Within a couple of years these shares were worth a couple of million Dollars. Here you will find a list of Google-millionaires.

Google Doodles
On special occasions such as holidays, major events, or birthdays of famous people the Google logo is modified and so-called Google Doodles are created. The first Google Doodle was the “The Burning Man” designed in 1999 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page. It was created as a reference to the annual “Burning Man Festival” in the desert of Nevada. New doodles are created on a regular basis. In the past, many companies have requested to rent the Google logo for one day; however, none of these requests have been approved. Here you will find a list of different doodles that have been created in the past.

“Do no evil”
“It is our philosophy to do no evil” – this is the first sentence in Google’s “Code of Conduct” published on the company’s investor relations’ web site. On this page Google explains how it aims to be a thoroughly positive company. The page was last updated in 2007. You can read all the details here.

Which words and phrases were on top of the search queries list in the last couple of years? In 2001 “Nostradamus” was the word entered most often in the search mask, in 2004 it was “Britney Spears”, and “MySpace” as well as “Janet Jackson” were the words on top of the Google “Zeitgeist” list 2005. In its Zeitgeist statistics Google breaks down the most popular words into different categories, including regions.

10 reasons to work for Google
If a high wage, free food and an “elite” position in a company are not enough reasons to lure you, you will find an additional 10 reasons explaining why it is worthwhile to be employed by Google. “Life is wonderful here” and “this company is great, no matter where you look”. “Besides CEOs you will find neurosurgeons, a former US puzzle champion, a crocodile wrestler, and former Marines among the company’s employees”; more than 17.000 people work for Google.