Outer Court

The Urban Legend Google History

The roots of modern Google can be traced back to Googel Cars & Co. of 1923. In the emerging German automobile industry, Karl Kastlowski of Polish heritance invented a new approach to car design, challenging the habits of European drivers. It was only after a huge mass accident in the 1931 National Road Championships when a horse crossed the lane, that Googel had to declare bancruptcy and wasn't to be seen for almost two decades.

It was in 1953 when New York tailor Thomas Rafner Jr. decided to switch business and took up the company name to form a tourist guide company, using the popular "Barney Google" horse in the logo. The motto was "Google - The Big Apple in One Bite" and became one of the most successful service-oriented city guide agencies. After losing focus and offering anything from massages to hair-cuts, they then set their horse on the up-and-coming computer technology market in 1969.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the first one to set-up a city-guide program on their main-frame. Soon however people discovered that it was hard to find specific places in New York using the interface, and they added keyword-search in October 1974. This system was redefined over the years and won the Nobel prize for best technological effort in late 1979. Today we refer to this epoch as First Generation Googling (FGG).

When in 1984 IBM bought the Google search technology, things didn't look that bright for a while, even though the Google map would now cover all of USA. But the Big Blue was under heavy hacking attack by MIT students, and had to wave the white flag after people entering "Italian Food Chicago" got results like "Luigi's Pizza Resort", which was then well-known for assembling hungry rats instead of gourmet cuisine affiniciados.

In 1988, Google Inc. was bought by the National Security Agency to investigate on private persons. However the agency was so secretive about the application that in 1991, they realized they completely forgot where they hid the Goole application three years ago. For the legendary symbolic budget price of a single US-dollar, then unknown Peter-Paul Sovri bought the name and patents.

The explosion of the World Wide Web in the mid 1990s made Sovri think about how to apply the idea of Google on this virtual place, and together with his son-in-law Larry Page, and his friend Sergey Brin, implemented the Google we know today; they called it The Google Web Map Machine, or GWMM. On November 17th, 1995, the Google website went public.

Visitor growth started slowly. The tragic death of P.P. Sovri in 1998 fueled motivation of Page and Brin to make this thing work; they simply owed it to Peter. Thinking about new ways to deliver relevant results, they hired 20,000 'Net-savvy Spanish teenagers, and put them together on an island with the task of rating all of the 2 billion web pages online with a score from 1/10. What might have appeared like a crazy idea back then was what made Bring and Page millionaires only some years later.

Today, over 3 billion webpages are indexed, and the Google server has to go through an average of 200 million search requests per day, and they expect this figure to go into 100 billion hits two years from now. It has been a long way since the days of Kastlowski's cars. Although processing and storage power have increased beyond belief since the 1970s, the underlying idea of Google has remained nearly the same — and now we can all be excited to see where Google will head in future times.

Google, the World, and the World Wide Web, Weblogged



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