Here’s what Google stands for:
Google is not an acronym, so it does not have a full form. Google is not gibberish, but a misspelling of a real word. It is a misspelling of the word “googol.”
Googol written in decimal notation is the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes (10100).
If you want to learn all about what Google stands for, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s jump right into it!
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What Does Google Stand For?
Is there any full form of Google? No, Google doesn’t have an official full form and is not an acronym at all.
The name comes from a misspelling of the word “googol.”
A full form is the combination of words used to create an acronym. For example, the full form of IT is Information Technology.
While the company doesn’t have an official full form, the letters in the name “Google” were eventually used to create a backronym.
Here’s the deal:
Google Doesn’t Have an Official Full Form
Without an official full form, users have created their own unofficial Google full form. As the words were chosen after the company was founded, the full form is a backronym instead of an acronym.
An acronym is typically created from the initial letters in a series of words. When the full form is invented using back-formation as with Google, it is a backronym.
The unofficial full form of Google stands for:
- Organization of
- Language of
Google is a global organization.
The search engine currently supports over 104 languages and is available in over 115 countries.
The “oriented group language” part may refer to the use of programming language groups.
In computer programming, programming languages are often described as oriented around a specific feature or trait. A procedural-oriented language such as Java or C++ follows a set of commands in order.
While many websites list the Google full form phrase, there’s no indication that anyone at Google created the backronym. It doesn’t appear to be recognized by the company and it doesn’t show up on their websites.
Google Isn’t the Original Name
Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin created the search engine as a research project while Ph.D. students at Stanford University. The project began in 1996.
Search engines at the time ranked web pages based on the number of times that specific search terms appear in the pages. This led to keyword-stuffing, allowing webmasters to add irrelevant keywords to manipulate search results.
Page and Brin created an algorithm called PageRank. It ranked the relevance of a website for specific search terms based on the number of pages and the number of backlinks. As the algorithm checked backlinks to determine relevance, Page and Brin called the search engine “Backrub.”
As you may imagine, Backrub wasn’t an ideal name for a web service.
It didn’t take long for Page and Brin to decide to come up with a new name. As we all know, they chose “Google.”
Google Is a Misspelled Word
So what does Google stand for? It’s not gibberish but it is a misspelling of a real word.
When trying to come up with a new name for the search engine, Page and Brin thought about the function of the search engine. It processes and returns large amounts of data.
Sean Anderson, one of the students working on the project, originally suggested the name “Googolplex.” Larry Page preferred “Googol.”
As this was still the early days of the Internet, Page and Brin didn’t have access to auto spell-check. They also didn’t think to use their search engine to double-check the spelling of the name.
When registering a domain name for their newly renamed search engine, they choose “Google.” Anderson mistakenly believed that the word googol ended with a “le” instead of an “ol.” The domain name “Google.com” was available. Anderson registered the name in September 1997 and the rest is history.
What Is a Googol? While Google is a misspelled word, googol is a real word but it’s rarely used in mathematics. When written in decimal notation, it’s the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes (10100).
The term was coined by the nine-year-old nephew of U.S. mathematician Edward Kasner in 1920. It was later described in Kasner’s book Mathematics and the Imagination in 1940.
The number is mostly used to compare very large quantities. For example, the number of possible moves in a chess game is likely about one googol.
The other name proposed for the company was “Googolplex”. A googolplex is simply 10 to the power of one googol.
Is Google the Name of the Company or the Search Engine?
Google was originally created as a search engine. When Larry Page and Sergey Brin established Google LLC in 1998, the search engine was the company’s only service.
The search engine is called Google Search or Google Web Search. Most people simply call it Google. Google is now a household name and synonymous with searching the Internet.
Google has even become a verb. When someone wants you to use a search engine to look something up on the Internet, they typically tell you to “Google it.”
The Google name is used in a wide range of web-based services. Along with Google Search, the company offers:
- Gmail (Google Mail)
- Google Calendar
- Google Maps
- Google Drive
- Google Docs
- Google Photos
- Google My Business
Google is actually the market leader of online search engines – remaining undisputed and maintaining an 86.86% market share as of 2020.
Google also entered in the hardware and software technology markets when they acquired the Android mobile operating system from Android Inc. in 2005.
Dictionaries Add Google as a Verb
As mentioned, the word “Google” eventually became a verb due to the popularity of the search engine. People regularly use the word as a transitive verb, no matter the search engine being used.
In 2002, the American Dialect Society listed Google as the most useful word of the year. In 2006, the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary added Google as a verb.
The first known use of the word Google as a verb was in 1998 by Larry Page. In an early mailing list, Page wrote “have fun and keep googling!” The earliest use of the word as a verb on television occurred in 2002 on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A character asks “Have you Googled her yet?”
The various common uses of the word “Google” eventually led to the use of the word “ungoogleable.” Something is considered ungoogleable if it can’t be Googled, meaning that it cannot be found it using a search engine.
For example, Google doesn’t differentiate between uppercase and lowercase letters. If you type the surname “He” into the search bar, Google will likely show results containing the pronoun “he.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are frequently asked questions regarding Google’s name:
What’s the Full Form for Gmail?
Along with the Google search engine, Gmail is one of the company’s most used services. Gmail was introduced in 2004 and now has over 1.5 billion active users.
As with Google, Gmail has an unofficial full form:
Some people also use the full form “Google Monitors All Incoming Letters.” However, neither is officially used by the company: Gmail simply stands for Google Mail.
During development, developers used the code name Caribou. It was originally available to internal Google staff before the public release in 2004.
What Does YouTube Mean?
YouTube is one of Google’s largest web-based services. It was created by three former PayPal employees in 2005.
The name is simply a combination of the words “You” and “Tube.” The “You” refers to you, as users are the ones uploading videos to the site. Tube is a slang term for a television.
Early television sets used cathode ray tubes (CRTs).
The CRT translates the received video signal into a picture that it displays on the screen.
People use the words tube, picture tube, or television tube to refer to a CRT television. Flat-panel TVs with LED or LCD screens eventually replaced the old picture tubes.
Had Google to Rebrand Gmail in Some Countries?
Google lost several trademark disputes related to the Gmail name. Due to the disputes when the service was first released, Google had to use “Google Mail” instead of Gmail in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
A service named “G-mail” already existed in Germany. The service offered to print emails and then send them in paper form to the recipient.
In Poland, a poet group already owned the domain “gmail.pl.” The group’s name is GMAiL, an acronym in the Polish language for “Group of Young Artists and Writers.”
A mail redirect service owns the “gmail.ru” domain and the “Gmail” trademark in the Russian Federation. The domain was later auctioned off in 2016.
When Google first released Gmail, a trademark dispute in the UK required the company to use the Google Mail logo. The trademark dispute was resolved in 2010, allowing Google to switch from Google Mail to Gmail in the UK.
What Is Alphabet?
By the early 2010s, Google was offering a wide range of products and exploring technologies in various industries.
The company owned or developed subsidiaries involved in everything from urban infrastructure to artificial intelligence. The Google brand name had become diluted with a variety of services.
To streamline the core Google web-based services, Larry Page and Sergey Brin restructured the company.
Google became a subsidiary of the newly formed Alphabet Inc. The restructuring was completed in 2015 with Google as the largest of the company’s holdings.
The Definitive Tech Acronyms List
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