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Would You Rather Google or Backrub?

But… did you know we could just as easily have been saying “Just Backrub It” instead of “Google It”?

Of course, “Google It” has become a common term in households around the world, but the truth is that Google’s original name was ‘”Backrub”.

Why was the Backrub name even a consideration?

The original algorithm focused on how many backlinks a page had and then ranked it accordingly. Back then the name made sense. Now pages are ranked based on a range of factors, regardless of this, it’s still probably pretty good that they did change the name.

When you look into Google there are a few interesting facts!

Google has been around since 1998 and is now one of the largest companies in the world.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin got Google started while Ph.D. students at Stanford in 1998.

The name Google came from ‘googol’ an alternative spelling of a mathematical term. A googol is a ridiculously large number, a 1  followed by 100 zeros.

This turns out to be the perfect term to encompass the goal of the young search engine:

Within it’s the first year Google tried to sell the company to Excite, an Internet portal. They gave themselves a price tag of $1 million and were rejected by Excite’s CEO.

This was good news in the long term because Google is currently valued at several hundred $billion.

Google acquires roughly one company per week and has done so since 201, including Android, Youtube, Waze, Songza, ReCAPTCHA and more. Alas, no new companies name Backrub have come along to acquire – yet.

Google also owns a few misspelled variations of its name, like,, and Along with many more, these are all Googles property. Ultimately having these misspelled variations drives more traffic to Google itself.

Now, who doesn’t love the Google Doodle? The first Doodle used by its creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin was the Burning Man. It let users know they were away just in case the server crashed in their absence.

This special addition to the logo commemorated holidays, events, notable people and achievements. I wonder what imagery might have been employed if they had stuck with Backrub?

In 2013 Google built its own private corporate jet facility, with a spend of $82 million to create it.

Goats mow Google lawns. The 200 goats spend a week at Google eating and fertilizing the grass.

Want a job at Google? Foobar is one clever recruitment tool for Google. To join Foobar, you have to be invited by a friend or have it pop up when you are searching certain coding terms on Google like ‘Python’. Once you are in, you will be given a question and a time limit to fix up the code.

Fix that right and you will get more puzzles with increasing difficulty until you reach Level 3. Make it that far and you have the option to request a Google recruiter to review their code and start talking to them. By then, you may need a Backrub yourself…

Google takes care of their people and their families. Google has death benefits for its employees that guarantee their spouse in the event of their passing 50% of their salary for 10 years.

Is Google really the best place to work?

The company has been ranked as one of the greatest places to work. With beautiful offices, happy hour, goats and a snack no more than 150 feet who could ask for more.

Backrup or Google. The former feels just a little too familiar, doesn’t it?

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Would You Rather Google or Backrub?

by Sonia Landry time to read: 2 min