Today is Google.com Day. On September 15, 1997, Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered the domain.
Page and Brin met at Stanford University in 1995. The following year, they collaborated on a search engine they named BackRub because it analyzed websites’ backlinks to determine their relative importance. It ran for a year but eventually took up so much bandwidth that it crashed Stanford’s servers.
By that time, they realized the name no longer fit their rapidly-evolving search engine. During a brainstorming session, graduate student Sean Anderson suggested “googolplex” and Page shortened it to “googol.” (Googol is the mathematical term for the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes, while googolplex is 1 followed by a googol of zeros.)
So what’s up with the spelling? When Anderson checked to see if that domain name was available, he accidentally typed in “” instead of “ .” Page liked that even better, and registered the name on September 15, 1997.
According to Google, the play on words “reflects Larry and Sergey’s mission to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.” They’re doing a great job so far.
Happy Google.com Day!