36 Facts You May Not Know About Google
Just 17 years since its founding in 1998, Google is unarguably the biggest online power, dominating the search engine market and spreading its golden wings into more and more services. What began as merely a research programme now exists as an incredible multinational company and an instantly recognisable household name.
Thanks to the tech giant we will never again struggle with those unanswerable questions such as ‘Who would win in a fight - a pig or a goat?’. But Google is much, much more than just a search engine. In Gmail and Android, it boasts the world’s largest email provider and a smartphone operating system which arguably rivals Apple’s.
With a new CEO and parent company announced in 2015, it’s clear that Google is still evolving. The team over at Promodo have created a couple of infographics listing some interesting and fun facts about the internet giant, and in this article we’ll be taking a closer look at some of those fascinating gems.
Google as a search engine
#1. Google searches 30 trillion web pages, 100 billion times a month. Google says that it stores information about those 30 trillion pages in the Google Index, which is now at 100 million gigabytes. It would take 100,000 one-terabyte personal drives to contain the same amount of data.
In other words, Google is massive.
#2. Every day, 16% of the searches that occur are ones that Google has never seen before.
Which seems like a lot, but then again there are around 3 billion searches made each and every day. Is your business harnessing the power of Google?
#3. One of the biggest leap in search usage came about when they introduced their much improved spell checker giving birth to the “Did you mean…” feature. This instantly doubled their traffic.
#4. Google takes over 200 factors into account to deliver the best results for any query in a fraction of a second.
It’s a fine art, this search engine business.
#5. The infamous “I feel lucky” button is nearly never used. However, in trials it was found that removing it would somehow reduce the Google experience. Users wanted it to be kept. It was like a comfort button. The “I’m feeling lucky” button costs Google US$110 million per year, as it bypasses all ads.
Wow, that really is some expensive creature comfort. But as we always say, user experience is more than just design, it’s integral to any successful website. Google’s obsession with UX should make that crystal clear.
#6. Google intends to scan all known existing 129 million unique books before 2020.
That’s over four billion digital pages, and more than two trillion words in total. Unlike other online book stores, users won’t need a specific device to read the books either. Clever Google.
#7. A single Google search requires more computing power than it took to send Apollo 11 to the Moon.
But maybe that says more about the astonishing advancement in computer technology over the past 50 years - we’ve come on lightyears.
#8. People rely on Google’s services so heavily that when they all went down for 5 minutes in 2013, global internet traffic dropped by 40%.
Now that's reliance.
#9. The Versace dress Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammy Awards sparked the creation of Google Images.
That’s one important dress.
#10. Google Maps calculates traffic by tracking how fast Android devices are moving on the road.
But what about all the iPhone users?
#11. Google Translate generates its answers by trawling through decades of comparative human translated works, such as UN documents and Harry Potter.
#12. The development that Google now uses is mostly built by its own employees. Google prefers to work on Python, Java, C++ and more recently Go.
Google employs a huge team of very clever people and is one of the world’s most attractive employers. As Google’s HR boss Laszlo Bock explains, the key to a successful workplace is constantly innovating, experimenting, and keeping things fun.
Google as a company
#1. Back in 1999, Excite (better known today as Ask.com) was a bigger force in the online world. Sergey and Larry were willing to sell their project of Google for under $1 million but Excite wasn’t interested. Following this, Google duo dropped their price to $750,000, but Excite still wasn’t interested. Guess who’s kicking himself hard now?
I wonder if they've boycotted all Google services out of principle.
#2. 127 companies were acquired by Google for 12 years of their history, whereas Apple acquired 41 for their 14 year history and Facebook bought 36 for 8 years of history.
Google don't do things by halves.
#3. When a Google employee dies, their spouses receive half pay from the company for 10 years and their children $1,000 per month until they turn 19.
Now that's what you call post-humous benefits...
#4. Google earns $20 billion a year from advertising, more than the primetime revenues of CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX combined.
Those spaces around your search results are worth a fortune.
#5. The company owns a bunch of domains that are common misspellings of Google, like Gooogle.com, Gogle.com, Googlr.com, and more. If you type in the wrong URL you will be redirected straight to the search engine.
It makes sense - why make it difficult for people to find your site?
#6. The domain GoogleSucks.com is owned by Google.
But if you visit the URL nothing will show. Maybe they should redirect this one!
#7. Google.com/Weddings is a little known free service to plan your wedding.
It brings up a 404 if we search for it, but the service does seem to exist…
#8. Google’s first computer storage was made from LEGO.
Tiny foundations to support great things.
#9. Google prefers dogs to cats. Their official code of conduct specifically states they are a dog company.
#10. Google HQ rents 200 goats to mow their lawns and fields. The employees think that it’s a lot cuter to watch goats do the mowing than lawn mowers.
#11. Google has a personal T-rex dinosaur, called Stan, which lives in their California headquarters. The skeleton is original and is an asset of Google Inc.
Not many businesses have the pleasure of owning their own prehistoric memento...
#12. Google hired a camel to create the Street View of a desert.
Well, the street view car would have struggled with the terrain.
#13. In 2010, Nicaragua accidentally invaded Costa Rica because of a mistake in Google Maps.
#14. Google is offering $20 million to any private team that can land on the moon by New Year’s Eve of 2016.
Time to get drawing up some blueprints?
#1. If you go to Google and search ‘do a barrel roll’, the page will rotate on its own axis before coming back. If you search ‘askew’ your page will tilt to the right.
The same thing happens if you search for 'z or r twice'.
#2. Searching for ‘zerg rush’ will open a search page with a retro-style game within it. Give it a try!
Keep zapping those zeros and try to make it to the end.
#3. If you type “Ich bin Johnny Depp” and translate from German to English, it would appear as “I am Harry Potter”.
We can't make this one work - if you have any luck get in touch!
#4. If you search for “atari breakout” in Google Images, you can play the game.
This one’s pretty awesome. We got 409, give it a try and comment below with your high score.
#5. Google’s first playable doodle was launched on Pac Man’s 30th birthday in May 2010. The PAC MAN doodle was launched with 250 levels to complete and it went on to become so popular with the gaming enthusiasts, that it got a permanent place in Google.
You can find a full collection of Google Doodles here.
#6. The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders (Sergey Brin and Larry Page) didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface.
So if you don’t know how to code, all is not lost!
#7. Larry and Sergey thought it would be cool to laser Google onto the moon.
I'm half surprised they haven't already.
#8. Because Gmail first launched on April 1st of 2004, many people thought it was an April Fools’ Day prank.
A double fool.
#9. Google has a version of their site translated into the language of the Klingons, from Star Trek.
#10. Google was originally called “Backrub”.
But 'Backrub Maps' doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
If you have any more fun facts or quirks about Google, feel free to comment below or let us know on Twitter @digitalmediatm.