NEW YORK: Born 10 years ago, the Google Internet search engine has grown into the electronic center of human knowledge by indexing billions of web pages as well as images, books and videos.
On September 15, 1997, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two 24 year-old Stanford University students, registered the domain name of "google.com".
The word is a variation of 'googol', which refers to the number 10 to the power of 100, a term popularised by US mathematician Edward Kasner.
Page and Brin incorporated Google one year later, on September 7, 1998, in a household garage in northern California. News of Google spread largely thanks to the efficient way the search engine classified results through algorithms, and it quickly became one of the most used methods to find information on the Internet.
From the beginning Page and Brin considered their role as global Internet researchers was crucial.
"We thought research was really important," said Sergey in a recent interview. "The other search engines stopped research on search. They thought that 'if our search engine is only 85% as good as the next guy, it's good enough for us'."
To search for Internet documents it is necessary to permanently contact each site and memorize its pages, a colossal task for the Google data bank, which is constantly renewed, allowing the users to search for key words.
Google needs several weeks to troll the Internet and renew its data bank. Soon after its launch this search engine became a motor that "absorbed" web pages across the Internet, at a rate of billions per day.
Google has become the most popular Internet search engine in the world outside of China, Japan and Russia, handling more than 500 million visits a day.
In 2000 Google began to sell ads linked to key words. At the time, as the dot-com bubble was bursting and scores of web-based operations were declaring bankruptcy, Google was making a healthy profit.
Google has expanded at a breakneck pace, and currently has some 13,700 employees. The company thrives on a culture of innovation: the best example is that it asks employees to dedicate 20% of their time to develop ideas for the company.