Google's name: A hilarious typo that changed the world

Google displays 10 raised to power of 100, or 1 with 100 zeros behind it
An undated image of Google logo. — Unsplash

An undated image of Google logo. — Unsplash

People are so accustomed to the name "Google" that it feels ubiquitous, yet it originated from a simple typo. According to a report by The New York Post, the name "Google" was not a meticulously planned choice but a happy accident.

Google was founded by computer scientists Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who were PhD students at Stanford University in 1998. Initially, someone suggested the name "Googol," a term coined in 1920 by Milton Sirotta, the nine-year-old nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. Kasner frequently referenced the term in his book "Mathematics and the Imagination," defining it as 10 raised to the power of 100, or a one followed by 100 zeros.

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When Page checked with a techie to see if the domain name was available, he misspelled it as "Google." Additionally, the report reveals that before considering "Googol," the founders thought of naming the company "Backrub" because the programme utilised backlinks for searches.

Interestingly, another tech giant, Apple, was named by co-founder Steve Jobs. The idea came to him after a visit to an apple orchard in Oregon.