Computer scientists Larry Page and Sergey Brin created Google in their Stanford University dorm room in the 1990s – and it is since become one of the most popular search engines in the world

It is referred to as the ‘most powerful company in the world’ – but many people are only just learning what Google actually stands for. Founded by computer scientists Larry Page and Sergey Brin in September 1998, Google completely transformed how people use the internet.

Today, you’ll commonly hear people use the phrase ‘I Googled it’ in conversation when sharing how they came to know a certain piece of knowledge. But the brand is much more than a search engine as the company also operates Gmail, YouTube, Workspace, as well as its own smartphone and watch brands – Pixel, Pixel Watch, and Fitbit.

But 26 years after its launch and one puzzled Quora user is asking: “Is Google an acronym?” It turns out the name Google is a misspelling of Googol – the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. This name was picked to reflect Larry and Sergey’s mission “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.

Prior to this, the search engine was referred to as Backrub. A Google statement reads: “The Google story begins in 1995 at Stanford University. Larry Page was considering Stanford for grad school and Sergey Brin, a student there, was assigned to show him around.

“By some accounts, they disagreed about nearly everything during that first meeting, but by the following year, they struck a partnership. Working from their dorm rooms, they built a search engine that used links to determine the importance of individual pages on the World Wide Web. They called this search engine Backrub. Soon after, Backrub was renamed Google (phew). “

Despite this, some internet users argue Google stands for ‘Global Organisation of Oriented Group Language of Earth’. However, this is considered to be false information due to the lack of evidence around the theory.

Commenting on the Quora user’s post, one social media user said: “The name was chosen to signify the vast amount of information that the search engine can access. It is not an acronym formed from the initials of words.” Another user added: “Google doesn’t have any full form [but] many in the world assume and say Google stands for ‘Global Organization of Oriented Language Experts’.”

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