Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to name their creation "Google" because of the large number of websites able to be searched by the algorithm, which is based on the actual number googol. A googol is defined as the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, expressed as 10 to the 100th power.
When the founders decided to register the name with the Internet, graduate student Sean Anderson did not spell "googol" correctly, and it came out as "google," according to Stanford University. Both of the company's founders liked the idea, and the domain was registered on Sept. 15, 1997. The original name for Google was "BackRub" because of the back links the search engine peruses.
Google was started as an algorithm that searches web pages and their associated links rather than which pages are getting the most traffic. The mission of Google is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," according to Penn State University.
Google has grown into dozens of products including email, maps, voicemail, social networking, mobile operating systems and video sharing services. Google is one of the world's leading web portals and search engines in terms of usage and advertising revenue.