Happy Anniversary, Google: Ties Link G To Amazon

Google got its start in 1996, when Stanford University graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with an idea to improve search engines. At the time I worked at Micro D, a computer distributor in Santa Ana, California, using the search engines Lycos and AltaVista, creating marketing material for companies like Acer and Microsoft.

September 4, 1998 is an important day in the world of search advertising. 

Wordplay has a lot to do with naming the search engine. Google, initially called BackRub, ranked pages mostly on the number of links, backlinks, tied into a page. The platform analyzed the web’s backlinks to determine the importance of the website.

The origin of the name Google, as Stanford professor David Koller describes in a blog post, came about in a brainstorming session with another grad student named Sean Anderson.

“Sean verbally suggested the word ‘googolplex,’ and Larry responded verbally with the shortened form, "googol" (both words refer to specific large numbers),” he wrote. “Sean was seated at his computer terminal, so he executed a search of the Internet domain name registry database to see if the newly suggested name was still available for registration and use.”



Sean suggested the word "googolplex.” Larry responded with "googol." Sean’s spelling error, "," rather than “googol,” named the company, which now has a market capitalization of more than $850 billion.

Page registered the name "" in which the domain name registration record dates back to September 15, 1997, according to Koller.

Page and Brin formed Google Inc. with $100,000 investment from Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim. Susan Wojcicki, who heads YouTube, gave the company the use of her garage.

Google even has a link to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who became one of the company’s first investors. After the move to Wojcicki’s garage, Google raised more than $1 million from Stanford professor David Cheriton, former Netscape executive Ram Shriram, and yes, Bezos.

Apparently, Google’s funding round had closed, but the 2013 book titled The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon recounts how Bezos convinced Google's founders to let the Amazon CEO become an early investor.

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