22 Facts You Need to Know About Google on Its 22nd Birthday!

Google is the biggest internet company in the world today.  And it seems that this giant, successful company is going to have a birthday. As a present, we came up with a few interesting facts in honor of the birthday big boy company.

1. People do not seem to know Google’s exact birth date.

Yes, it is true. People do not know the exact date of Google’s birthday. It has been reported that Google has been given six different dates for their official birthday. Eventually they decided they need a fixed date, so that people know when to celebrate. Google later determined that September 27th will be the day.

2. Google may even happen to be 25 years old.

There are some indications that the real birth date might come even earlier than ’98. Google could be in fact, over the age needed to purchase alcohol in the US, legally. Although Google already has encoded their official starting date with the cryptic “98 9 27” doodle, it all must have started even earlier. In 1995, in the dormitory of Standford, the two main Google guys initiated the miracle power behind the most popular search engine in the world. Some say that during the infant years of Google development, the two founding men were frequently in disagreement with each other. However, we have the search engine today as proof they eventually shook hands and decided to put aside their differences and get to work.

3. Google has a T-rex dinosaur on-site as a special reminder.

Indeed, there is a T-rex on-site at Google’s headquarters. The dyno structure features a bone from a real Tyrannosaurus. When an amateur paleontologist initially discovered the bone by accident, they thought it comes from a different type of dinosaur. Stan, the name of the bone construction, is a vivid reminder that adaptation is key to survival.

Apart from being a preferred gathering spot for flamingos meeting, Stan is there to remind Google employees they need to give their best all the time. Or risk having their company become extinct, just like a dinosaur.

4. A T-rex game likes to hide in Google Chrome.

Google is fond of dinosaurs, we noticed. Apart from the giant structure at their HQ, they also made a digital dyno version. When you browse the net on Google Chrome, a warning will appear about Google not being able to connect.

When the dinosaur is visible, if you push the space bar on your keyboard, a game will begin where you are a running dinosaur jumping over obstacles. The game length is theoretically infinite and has been an arena for peculiar competition for the highest score.

5. Many things are hiding in Google’s products.

You can find many Google easter eggs by doing a simple search. These hidden gems become quite apparent once you begin to understand what they are.  For example, searching with the word “askew” will return search results in a tilted view. You can also try “zerg rush,” “blink HTML” or the classic “Google in the 1998”.

6. Google was not at all pleased that the name of the company became a generic search term.

“Google” and “just Google it” are common words, but the company thought that could undermine all their efforts. There is, however, no way to stop such a trend. We have little control over how language use evolves. Marketing departments would say they want the brand name should circulate as much as possible. Still, Google has reached a level where the term becomes forever embedded in our culture. At this point, the process of “genericization” becomes unstoppable and out of control, even Google’s.

7. Google devours more businesses than people genuinely think.

Some estimate that Google purchases more than one company per week. Most of the companies tend to be small, but some can be rather large. Most of the acquired products get blended in with others that are already part of an applied marketing strategy.  However, Android resides firmly within Google’s realm on its own accord and is very well known.
Google does not usually sell the companies that it buys.

8. The “I’m Feeling Lucky” Google button cost more than tens of millions of dollars per year.

This button is really fun. But for Google, it is an expensive add-on. The simple task of taking a person directly to the top result page without the advertising makes Google miss a lot of potential revenue. That lost income estimates put it at around $110 million. When addressed directly, Google officials responded that without the feeling lucky button Google will look like a corporate beast with an exclusive focus on money. The fact that the button remains on the main google page is a true testament that Google understands the search engine is for the real people out there.

9. The first Google storage building blocks come from Lego.

Google, one of the largest companies in the world today, has many demands, most of them understandably also pretty big. For example, all the countless public photos, videos and emails needs a place to stay, and there are building-size structures that come to the rescue. But back in 1996, things were different for the Google founders, when they had to find a solution for their first storage device need. The hard drives they found were too bulky, so they produced unique server boxes made out of Lego parts.

10. Google proves to be very generous to the spouses of employees who die while working for the company.

Losing a loved one on the job is always tough. Dying while working in a comfortable, air-conditioned office is not the same as, say, a coal mine accident. However, one thing is sure: death comes unexpectedly, and it is a hard stone to all sides involved. Google understands that and pays the husband or wife of the decreased fifty percent of their salary for the next ten years! Even the children of those unfortunate enough to perish on the job have benefits too – they are set with compensatory payments till they reach adulthood.

11. One search on Google requires more computing power than it took to send astronauts of Apollo 11 to the moon.

Isn’t that a funny statistic? Searching with Google is made so simple now. Most people don’t believe when they hear the actual computing and networking power behind every simple search querry.

Searching the internet today takes more resources than were necessary to put people on the moon. Even your smartphone has better capabilities than the equipment NASA had when they attempted the first moonwalk.

12. One time Google experienced a crash for five minutes, and almost half of the whole internet went down too.

What if you can’t use your computer for five minutes? No bid deal, right? You can take a walk and come back again. Five minutes for Google is too much.

It was on August 19, 2013, when the famed Google stopped operating for a total of five minutes. This short interruption sufficed for Google to take down around 40% of all internet traffic.

While it is true that many companies have risen to the occasion and provide search opportunities for people, Google still dominates the more substantial part of the internet. Google has grown to the point where it almost became a synonym for the internet itself. When Google has a problem, the chances are that so does most of the world wide web.

13. Google employs goats.

There is a lot of beautiful green space around Google offices. And that could require a lot of mowing for sure. So they come up with the ingenious idea to have some goats to take care of the grass for them.

According to Google employees, they love goats because for a score of reasons. Goats are not as noisy, don’t cause any pollution, and, most of all, are more cure and cuddly than lawnmowers.

14. Google has lots of dogs on site.

Speaking of goats, Google also loves all kinds of animals and lets people bring their pets to work. Having your best friend around you is a huge booster for morale and productivity.

Note that cats are not banned from Google. It’s just that cats don’t usually get along with dogs, so there are fewer of them on-site. But there are still quite a few.

15. Google has given a dog the title of Top Dog.

According to Google’s official history, the dog of the owner of Google, whose name is Yoshka, is the first and only dog to be given the name Top Dog back in 1999. A post appeared on Google by Yoshka, stating that all dogs are welcome to come to Google. Yoshka is not the only dog in the company, but it was the first. The dog owner was non-other than Urs Hölzle. He was the person responsible for reducing the power needed for Google data centers by half!

16. Google centered their logo on the main search page in 2001.

Google’s homepage is simple, a much-needed requirement when millions around the world visit it on a daily. Any changes to that page, even the tiniest ones, will be indeed significantly noticed.

In the early days of the search engine, the Google logo resided to the left side of the page. But in 2001, they moved it to the center and has been there ever since. This seemingly slight change is pretty significant. It changed how the main page is perceived forever.

17. Google continues to make small changes.

There have been some rather small adjustments to the Google logo, in time. Those changes include the layout of the letters of the word “Google.”

Small changes are the general approach, but Google also goes big. They came up with different ways to arrange the words, which included a new font too.

18. Changes include the name.

In recent years, the most significant and notable change occurred when the company changed its name from Google to Alphabet. That change was prompted by the fact the company was dominating most of the search, information, internet and other aspects of the business.

19. Google Instant.

Google Instant means that you will see results immediately as soon as you start typing if your connection allows it.  Google can then collect ample information on you about your browsing patterns to get you where you want to go even faster. Google Instant changes the autocomplete options, and the suggested search results in an instant. According to Google developers, it saves you around 2-5 seconds of search time. It also removes the need to press ‘enter’ or click on the search button. Not a lousy usability improvement for a page that has nothing but a text field with a button at the end of it.

20. Google’s food policy.

One of the rules employed by the company is that food should be easy access to all employees working on-site. They even defined a safe range, declaring that everyone should not walk more than 150 meters before they can get to a bagel or lunch. For Google, this means that larger offices naturally have onsite kitchens and chefs so that employees wouldn’t need to walk too far when they get hungry.

21. The ‘doodle’ messages started because of the Burning Man festival.

Google’s first doodle was a stick man carrying the logo. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who made it used the doodle to let their co-workers know they were going to be at the Burning Man festival, in case the servers went down during their absence. This creative alternative of an ‘out-of-office’ message is what exploded into the versatile form of communication doodles represent today.

22. Google will introduce one of its most important algorithm changes in 2021

The Google Search Ranking Algorithm depends on 250+ Ranking Signals. After Penguin and many cutely named updates, they will be introducing a major one in 2021. This one will take into account the User Experience, broken down into several smaller ranking factors. The significant role of user experience in ranking will likely replace others related to page loading speed.

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Author

Alex Draev

Alex is driven by achievement. While he is eager to succeed, he understands that learning is the key to success. He loves research and is open to all kind of new and challenging work, which gives him the ultimate satisfaction a software engineer can feel.
Alex feels home when working with Java or Javascript. He also loves Open-Source software and modifying the existing to be tailored to the teams needs.