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July 6, 2006

5 Different Stories About Google's Name

Now that google is an English word, we can't help wondering where does the spelling come from. There are many explanations, but here are 5 of the most credible versions.

1. "We chose our system name, Google, because it is a common spelling of googol."

[ Anatomy of a Search Engine, the paper that describes PageRank. ]


2. "Googol is the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. The term was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, and was popularized in the book, "Mathematics and the Imagination" by Kasner and James Newman. Google's play on the term reflects the company's mission to organize the immense amount of information available on the web."

[ Google's Corporate site now ]


3. " 10^100 (a gigantic number) is a googol, but we liked the spelling "Google" better. We picked the name "Google" because our goal is to make huge quantities of information available to everyone. And it sounds cool and has only six letters. "

[ Google's Corporate page in 1999 ]


4. As Larry Page, the co-founder of Google.com narrates:
"Lucas Pereira: 'You idiots, you spelled [Googol] wrong!' But this was good, because google.com was available and googol.com was not. Now most people spell 'Googol' 'Google', so it worked out OK in the end."

[ Probably the correct version. ]


5. "The original founders were going for 'Googol', but ended up with 'Google' due to a spelling mistake on a check that investors wrote to the founders."

[ Wikipedia's opinion ]

{ Inspired by a discourteous commentary. }

17 comments:

  1. Note that when Google began, the president of Yahoo! was Tim Koogle (see http://news.com.com/2100-1023-253764.html).

    The mispelling of 'googol' has the effect of punning his name. IMHO, that's intentional. But I can see why Google would not wish to highlight that reference now.

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  2. I was fascinated by your choice of corporate name. Of course, all I had to do was a Google search to find out! You people are wonderful. The service you provide is fabulous.

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  3. I think google was named after the Ceo of Yahoo Tim Koogle, the K was repalced with a G. They definetly prooved their point by taking part of his name and making it a bigger and more influential company than the one he is running,Yahoo. Iam sure the other meanings of the word were also taken underconsideration. This one of the brightest ideas I have ever seen.
    Bas chicago

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  4. Yes, Koogle, because Koogle said to Page and Brin , who want sell his idea to Yahoo: "Go out!"

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  5. my pre-calculus math teacher actually had an amusing story for our class today.. her daughter works for google and in fact when my teacher was in seattle for a visit, she met with Brin and entertained the question: "Why google?"... thinking it was an ingenious spelling of the mathematical term googol to highlight the company's successful future above and beyond any company before it. Well it was soon found out that Brin was indeed a "bad speller," and had mistakingly trademarked the misspelled name. Should've used spell check!

    - Josh Pelekai, Hawaii.

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  6. Story 4 is right. 1, 2, 3, and 5 are wrong. They just liked the idea of googol, but the guy wasn't a good speller, so google was created.

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  7. Just leave all these bullshit stories! Don't you have any other work!

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  8. In the sixth line, page 251 of famous sci-fi novel "Hyperion" by Dan Simmons, there's a term "googlepeds", I think it's amazine that book is written before 1990, but Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page.

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  9. I think that it's not really important for any of us to find out about why is it named google. It's just a waste of time !!!!

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  10. Similarly - there is a term googlebets in the hitchhikers guide. Could be another possible source for Larry Page

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  11. in my book of 300 facts, it says google was named after the number googol, a 1 with 100 zeros following with loads of info.

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  12. The founders of Google did not know what to do with their new page ranking system. They tried to sell it to excite.com and yahoo.com... The two google founders got the idea of Ad Sense and Ad Words from another company.

    So, it is no wonder that they ALSO spelled the name of their company wrong too...

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  13. After going threw all this...i came 2 knw that it was wrongly spelled and written...
    But some mistakes are meant 4 good...as it sounds realy cool:)

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  14. Another interesting interpretation that I heard in a convention is they named it as a compound word of 'GO OGLE', which is to look around, a fancy term for Search.

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  15. I was astonished to see the origins of the word google. I collect antique books. I had a book that noted famous people. It was interesting reading because it had people such as Winston Churchill but the picture displayed showed him at a young age. I was glancing through this book and came across a mathemitician whos last name was google. He was a professor of mathematics or something...he was noted in this book as the person who named all numbers up to google in which he named after himself. This book was from the 1920's. I have always remembered this and was freaked when i looked him up on google and cannot find any reference of him. THIS BOOK WAS FROM THE 20'S....I dont understand...unfortunately i sold the book, but I am trying to remember its name and i will prove all stories wrong of googles origin.

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