Google, as a word, has no definition. It was a common misspelling of the word “googol” adopted by the founders of the company Brian and Page as a homage to their search engine correcting the common misconceptions of things in the world by providing accurate information to the public. The word “googol,” from which the name google has been derived from is actually defined as the number 1 followed by one-hundred zeros. In layman terms, a googol is actually a huge amount that is also referred to as something that is largely extensive and multiplies regularly from its original value, something that Google is known for still today owing to its ability to take raw user data and utilize it develop and perfect their own products that in turn help us the user base gain easier access to information and global happenings around the world.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be pretty well versed in the company that shaped the 21st century, one of the largest tech giants in the world worth billions of dollars that started its humble beginnings from something as trivial as a simple web directory named Backrub in 1988. Fast forward to today, and Google is arguably the most prominent Silicon Valley giant in the world, amassing millions of dollars in revenue daily, and with billions of users accessing its vast plethora of digital and physical products regularly. Google has shaped its empire on gathering user data to a point where your data is statically more valuable than you in today’s world. It accessorized on its portfolio by producing its own physical gadgets to accompany its vast lead in terms of software and made the world change for the better.
Social research shows that Google is probably the most influential technological breakthrough that made the world adopt the internet as their go-to place for gathering information. The tech bubble burst that shaped this century is often credited to the incredible success of Google as a search engine based digital data collection company. It gained such incredible mass popularity that the term “Google it” has been standardized in our vocabulary. A world without Google is difficult to imagine in today’s scenario, where we are codependent on the tech giant for almost every piece of information or update we need daily.
The birth of the name “Google”
The word “Google” actually has no real meaning. It was actually a common misspelling of the word “googol,” which refers to the number represented by a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros. Brian and Page, the brains behind the search engine, talk about the name in their original paper PageRank about their ideology of making Google a staple in households, an entity that never stops evolving and is always learning new things regularly. The term Google is thus a modified version of the word that explains something that is ever-expanding and multiplying after adding each additional user. Therefore, the word Google was coined as an adaption of the word “googol” to strengthen the idea that still holds today, I.e., Google is first and foremost a search engine company. In a very clever and intricate manner, Brian and Page concreted the ideology of never going askew in their endeavor of creating a multinational conglomerate that will change the world as we know it owing only to the powers of its search engine capabilities. This is one of the primary regions why, even though Google is now involved in nearly every technological product on our planet. It is still primarily known for its excellence in the world of search engines, where it has garnered such incredible urban clout that whenever someone says the phrase “look it up,” people subconsciously know they mean to google it.
Even after just a few years of founding Google, it gained such a viral following that the Oxford dictionary quickly recognized how the word has gained international recognition and needs to be officially integrated into the English dictionary. The judgment of Google’s excessive success can be gauged by the fact that it literally changed the world’s most popular language by securing a valuable spot in the dialect for generations to come. And even though Google has transformed its portfolio a dozen times over and is incredibly profuse in its ability to introduce brand new creative ideologies to the world, it’s the search engine is still to this day more or less the same UI with the first iteration of the search engine that was introduced in 1988. This traditional withholding within the company to always retain their roots in their search engine tools is a great example of how treasured the engine is for the company even when everything has changed at astronomical rates.
Google’s impact to the everyday world
It’s hard to imagine a world without Google today. The company has shaped our surroundings to such an extent that almost everyone in the world today is directly or indirectly using a product that works on the infrastructure that Google has made. This has integrated the company into our daily lives on a level that few companies seldom do. Even if we focus on smartphones and how they are now an indispensable product in our lives, Google is the parent company for android, which is the most popular mobile OS in the world. Couple with social platforms such as YouTube, you will realize that it is almost impossible to separate yourself from Google in the modern world. This allows Google always to experiment and try new things at their endpoint to ensure that their customers always have something new to tinker with in their past time.
Google is also excellent in being self-aware in its surroundings. Part of the luxury of being a data company is that it depends on its users for all of its revenue and therefore needs to constantly be on its toes to ensure that its user base remains happy. This has resulted in Google brilliantly filling out the gaps in the market by analyzing the need for products and filling those needs by making their own products or licensing its knowledge to other companies that can, for the time being.
Google’s self-awareness is also reflected by its adoption of environmental friendly workplaces where solar energy and carbon-neutral missions ensure that it is a step ahead in reducing deforestation and pollution emission levels by filling up those gaps with green initiatives and redirecting a large chunk of its profits in research and development of new electric-based vehicles, gadgets, cars and other user-friendly experiences that have zero or a positive impact on society and our non-renewable energy sources.
Things like these are a reflection of Google’s brilliance as a company that always delivers on its promises by ensuring that they promote a healthy environment. Another great segue within the same is it’s working conditions. Google has often been voted to have the best possible working environment for a company by multiple reviewers and committees. This is owing to its open free thinking working environments where the company has taken the edge off the workers by indulging in free cafeterias, flexible working hours, and promoting sports and recreational facilities within the working complexes.
They truly believe that happy and satisfied workforces lead to a better flow of ideas and ultimately help the company gain vital new concepts and work more fluidly and rapidly. This theory has been proven effective a dozen times over for the company. Many major MNCs around the world have tried similar techniques to gain the same productivity that Google boasts. This is just one of the many examples of how Google drives innovation in the world as we know it today.
The importance of Google is great by how the world is shaping to accommodate the search engine instead of the other way around. Books, TV cable shows, and even newspapers are slowly becoming obsolete to pave the way for their digital counterparts. Google is paving the way for the internet to take the world into the digital age and providing the necessary accessories to help us do the same. Watches have transformed into smartwatches, homes are now controlled by saying “Ok Google” to an empty room, and even clocks and fridges are being connected to the home Wi-Fi to utilize their integration made by Google and Android. The world is changing at an unprecedented rate, and Google is monetizing anything and everything required to keep the speed of the change consistent.
Drawbacks of Google
Part of going into a future led by technology and the internet in the absence of humans in almost every step of the industry. Google is directly or indirectly paving the way for machines to take over the jobs of working-class men and women, which in turn raises unemployment and poverty, changing the balance of society for the worse. Technology also is negatively affecting the mental health of teenagers, and with Google slowly making every part of its products and services more accessible, more and more teenagers are becoming slaves of the technology and being hardwired to become social recluses that utilise the accessibility of the internet to quench the thirst of being social beings in their own domains.
The negative side effects of Google being the parent company for leading these IoT revolutions are the global issues of privacy and censorship that are slowly but surely being asked and debated worldwide. Utilizing these aspects of the negative side of the company in the account, Google is far from being clean from taints and black spots on its shiny surface.
One could argue that every change in the world comes with its side effects. Google has managed to transform our behaviour and personality, and our society to a point where it will never be the same as it once used to be. Obviously by doing so, there will be drawbacks to the process. People will lose their comfort zones, and there will be some people criticising the need for change. But these are prominent in each and every mass scale decision ever taken in human history. It is practically impossible for a company to change the way we see the world and make everything in the world more accessible and fit in the palm of our hand without hitting a few roadblocks along the way.
The only real option the company has is to minimize the impact of these drawbacks for the general public by diverting its resources and giving back to the community. Google’s environmental initiatives and charitable works falling under the likes of Google.org are prime examples to how the company is making strides towards giving back to its community, and ensure that the changes they are making in the world are sustainable and don’t necessarily harm the people more than they do good for us. For a company trying to balance the world on a yardstick, this is a complicated and difficult task that takes trial and error to perfect.
Google started off as a garage idea of making the web more accessible and user friendly. The company was passionate to make user data as its currency and ensure that the internet is made accessible and user friendly to a point that people don’t hesitate utilising its powers on a regular basis. I think it’s safe to say they have achieved, nay, exceeded their expectations on an incredibly frugal basis. They might have stepped on a few toes in the process and they are trying to rectify their errors and reduce their negative impacts on the society, however minuscule they may be. But there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Google, a company born from a spelling error, is one of the most influential and successful technological giants of the last century that has changed the way the world functions forever.