The Search

23 04 2008

Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page met as graduate students at California’s
Stanford University, a top-notch academic center that encouraged students to find
practical applications for their knowledge. While searching for a dissertation topic, Page
became intrigued with the Web. He began investigating the links to various Web sites.
This led him to a more refined idea: create a system to track academic citations (HTML
links) or annotations (the wording describing the link) in online publications.
In the Web early days it was really difficult tracking
a link backward,Page worked to develop a prioritizing system, “PageRank,” which measured the number
of links connecting related sites. As he and Brin collaborated on Page Rank, they testing
and, to their surprise, their crawler and ranking system better than existing search engines,
such as Alta Vista, Info seek and Excite. They found that their Web crawler knew no
limits; it could grow as fast as the Web. To name it, they chose a variation of googol, the
mathematical term for a one followed by 100 zeros. Brin and Page launched Google in
August 1996 as a tool on the Stanford University Web site.

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