This is a random list of 20 MORE things I found fascinating about Google that you may not know. It’s the 3rd in a series I’m writing after I recently read the book; Steven Levy’s “In The Plex” – How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives. If you would like to read the first 20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Google back up 6 words and click. The first post was called Don’t be Evil – Google Isn’t and I encourage you to read that before this one to tie it all together.
So, let’s not waste any more time and let’s jump right in!
- Google was started in 1998 and was not profitable as a business until 4 years later in 2002
- Paul Buckheit was the brains behind Gmail
- Google’s main revenue stream, Adwords was not their own original idea. Bill Gross of GoTo back in 1999 had a version they called LinkAds
- Adsense was started by another company called Applied Semantics. Google saw it’s potential and paid $42 million to acquire the company in 2003! (as you can see from #1 above it’s pretty impressive that Google was able to make a $42 million dollar acquisition in just one year of being profitable! Obviously they were VERY profitable.
- Originally Google targeted it’s Adsense product (their ad network) to large publishers such as web portals and online news papers like the New York Times and later realized it made more sense to open it up to everyone as a “self serve” ad platform. I think they were right!
- The code name for Adsense before it’s launch was “puppy” and a common mantra Google used at the time was “Get this puppy launched!”
- Google had some early challenges serving up the best ads on the right pages at the right time. An account of massive food poisoning at an Olive Garden in Los Angeles was accompanied by a coupon offering a “Free Dinner for Two at Olive Garden! (ha ha)
- If Sergey Brin (one of the Google founders) says something is “pretty good” that’s the equivalent of a Nobel prize.
- Sergey Brin orginally predicted Adsense would generate 2 billion a year in revenue. He was wrong – it produces over 10 billion dollars year after year…
- Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin HATE golf.
- A company called “Urchin” developed what we now all know as “Google Analytics”. Google paid $20 million for Urchin in late 2004.
- Google’s servers (all of them) crashed within 48 hours of the launch of Google Analytics unable to handle the tidal wave of traffic and data washing in to the company’s servers!
- Google Analytics was not born out of a desire to provide the web free analytics for their websites. It was born to reveal the value of the ads Google’s publishers were serving up, to entice new customers and keep the current ones assured their investment in Ads was a genuine purchase with measurable value.
- Diane Tang, a computer scientist and mathematician from Stanford University was hired to create Google’s search-word advertising equivalent of the stock market called the “Keyword Pricing Index”. This is the system that decides what each keyword costs us in their Adwords platform. Later she was known as the “Queen of Clicks”. Here is some homework for you tonight, consider how you would decide what every keyword on the web is worth and then how would you document it? There will be a test in the morning…
- Both Larry Page and Sergey Brin were “Montessori kids”. Montessori refers to an educational philosophy developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian Physician born in 1870 who believed that children should be allowed the freedom to pursue what interested them. As a result of their upbringing Larry and Sergey disrespect authority and do what they think makes sense versus what an authority figure says they should do. They were trained and programmed to question authority!
- Google plans an elaborate April fools joke(s) every year that require months of preparation! I wonder what the title of the person who heads up that department is? Director of Fools? :-)
- Early in Google’s history they instituted the “20% rule” which says that all Google employees can devote one day a week or the equivalent to a project of their choice as opposed to something imposed by their boss or manager.
- Google believes in having fun at work. Even while you are in the bathroom! In some of their toilets they have high tech Japanese units with heated seats, cleansing high speed water jets and control panels that look like they can fly the space shuttle.
- Google tries to create an environment where the type of people they want to work there would be willing to work there for free.
- At Google, early on a desk was made up of a door on saw horses! I can relate…when I started my first business we did the same thing only it was a door over file cabinets. Back then there wasn’t many computers but when you think about that set up today it’s ideal. A huge desk with a big round hole you can put all the cords through!
Do you know something interesting about Google you would like to share? Please leave it in the comments below and please share this post with anyone you think may find it interesting. Also, be sure to subscribe to our blog over there on the right and get our future posts. Thanks for reading!
1 Comment to “20 MORE Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Google”
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