What does Google 'actually' mean?

Google achieved something that very few brands have managed to do: turning the company name into a verb. Nowadays, many people simply say “Google it” instead of saying “search for it on the internet” in everyday life. So, what is the story behind this name?
What does Google 'actually' mean

When Google was first founded, its name wasn’t ‘Google’. When Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the project in 1996 and registered it on Stanford University’s servers, the search engine was known as “Backrub,” which means back massage.

A year later, the founders realized that the name needed to change. This way, nearly 30 years later, people wouldn’t have to ask each other to give back massages when searching the internet.

Instead, the name the founders settled on resulted from a misspelling of the mathematical term “googol.”


When this question is searched on Google, one of the top results defines Google’s acronym as “Global Organization of Oriented Group Language of Earth.”

However, according to Google’s own website and those who participated in the renaming sessions, this is incorrect.


David Koller from Stanford University, who witnessed those days, described the events of September 15, 1997, the date Google was officially registered:

“Sean Anderson and Larry Page were brainstorming good names on the whiteboard in their office, looking for something related to indexing an immense amount of data. Sean verbally suggested ‘googolplex,’ and Larry responded verbally with the abbreviated form ‘googol.’ Sean made a historic mistake by typing the name into Backrub to see if the domain was available.”

David Koller continued, “Sean wasn’t a good speller and mistakenly typed ‘google.com’ instead of ‘googol.’ He saw that this name was available, and Larry liked it. Within a few hours, ‘google.com’ was registered on behalf of Larry and Sergey,” thus recounting that historic day.

In mathematics, a googol is a term meaning ‘1 followed by one hundred zeros.’ According to Google, this term represents “Google’s mission to organize the seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.”

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