When anyone wants to use the internet for looking something up, they’d probably Google it. ‘Google’ is now used as a verb by many internet users, as it’s among the most popular search engines in the world. The success of Google is due to it always doing things a little out of the ordinary and hence staying one step ahead.
Now, Google is a huge company located in scores of countries, with more services coming out that are equally popular. Android phones, for instance, wouldn’t be much use without a Google account, and Gmail is usually the service of choice for most. It’s evident that this empire is a point of interest for anyone who’s interested in business and expansion. In fact they got so big Google changed its name to Alphabet Inc. to better represent all the work they do beyond just search.
Below are some interesting facts on Google that might shed some light upon its success:
A Spelling Mistake
The name of Google itself was a mistake, but it turned out to be fine at the end of the day. The founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, wanted to name their search engine ‘googol’, which denotes a numeric one followed by a hundred zeros.
They might not have been aware of the right spelling and didn’t bother to double-check. It turns out that being a stickler for correct spelling didn’t matter in this case. In fact, it might have been a beneficial blunder as it made the name more unique and perhaps easier to pronounce.
The Original Name
The first name of Google was Backrub, which is unique but sounds quite strange now. The reason behind this name was the algorithm that Page and Brin developed. This used a slightly superior way of crawling through the internet and coming back with the most relevant search results. Hence, the search engine adopted the name of the algorithm that made it tick.
Fortunately, the name and the logo were both changed later on. The logo was a scanned version of Larry Page’s own hand, which might not have worked as well as Google’s present clean and simple look. The bare-looking appearance of Google’s homepage is also due to Page and Brin’s lacking in certain knowledge. They simply didn’t know about HTML Page at that time, so they left things as simple as possible. This is now symbolic of Google, so the appearance is more or less the same today.
Instead of using lawnmowers that would guzzle gas or electricity, Google has chosen to rent goats for mowing their lawns. Their headquarters have a mountain view, so grass upkeep is of high importance. They even hire the goatherd along with the animals themselves.
Not only is this an environmentally friendly initiative, but it’s also a calming sight for the hardworking employees. Plus, Google claims that the solution is a cuter one than lawnmowers, which is correct. The greener choice is also great for the company’s image, as many people are trying to lead eco-friendly lifestyles. With Google making decisions that save non-renewable resources, it’s only going to raise them in their customers’ eyes.
The classic image of the Google Image is the “Google Search” and the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button side by side. However, the advent of Google instant, which starts searching for keywords while the user is still typing, makes the second button completely invalid. It also works to make clicking there almost impossible. Most Google users might not ever have clicked that button in their lives.
The Lucky Button
The “I’m Feeling Lucky” button would originally bypass all advertisements and get one right to the top search. This cost Google around $110 million, so they’ve now retired the button in all but name. It hence wouldn’t really help much with searches anymore, but removing the button was also not well received. Many users claimed they felt more comfortable with the same layout. Hence both buttons have stayed on to this date.
Google has expanded on its own, but it’s also making smart moves by acquiring several companies alongside the expansion. These include big names such as Android, Waze and YouTube. This is why you’d find every Android requiring a Gmail account. On average, Google acquires one company every single week.
There are several ways in which Google keep sit employees happy, just like any other successful company. Among perks and the prestige of working in the company, Google also provides three gourmet meals for its employees every day.
The main goal of Google as a search engine is to increase site traffic. Making the right decisions through research and development has helped them out in this area. For instance, their ‘Did you mean…?” feature double the site traffic, hence proving its need.
Listening to Feedback
When a Google user mails the company to give a suggestion or make a complaint, they might not expect their words to be actually read. However, the success of Google also lies in actively listening to its customers, which its users essentially are. By taking feedback into account, Google has managed to fix several bugs and provide better services with each passing year.
Since Google itself is a misspelling, they’ve taken into account the fact that their name can easily be confused. Hence, they acquired the rights to other domains that have names similar to Google’s own. These include the combinations ‘gooogle’, ‘googlr’, and ‘gogle’. This way, any user that accidentally types the incorrect combination will automatically be redirected to the Google homepage.
This is quite a wise step by Google, as the domain could otherwise be quite valuable to a competitor. With millions of users accessing Google every day, a page with a similar name could get quite a large amount of inadvertent traffic.
Google has done its best to keep everything about itself progressive and fresh, with great success. Its happy employees and increasing popularity is a sign that it’s doing something right. Even companies that are just starting out would do well to take some lessons from this giant, as it’s seen some failures as well.