Saturday, 13 February 2010

Google it

I was preparing and valeting a car today, A late model Mini Cooper, for some reason the rear tailgate which has an electronic release wasn't working. Having checked the fuses which were ok I set about looking for a manual release mechanism but with no luck. I thought to myself, "I'll go indoors, make a coffee and Google it" Needless to say, I found a solution simply by typing the words "mini cooper tailgate not working" into the Google search bar

It wasn't too long ago (late 1990s) when I remember using a search engine called "toxic lemon" Then there was Ask Jeeves, Yahoo, Hotbot Asta Vista, Lycos and more.

In 1996 two students had created Google, According to Wikipedia "The name "Google" originated from a misspelling of googol which refers to the number represented by a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros (although Enid Blyton used the word decades earlier in "Google Bun"- Chapter IX, The Magic Faraway Tree) 

By 1998 the Google homepage still had "beta" on it but was considered by many to be better than the competition. 

From 1999 the company moved to Silicon Valley and then the growth was simply astounding. 
 Having found its way increasingly into everyday language, the verb, "Google," was added to the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate  Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006, meaning, "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet."

And that is what it is, It is a verb, one that is used everyday in this house. Not a day goes by when someone doesn't say, "Google it". The impact on everyday life has been immense. With just a few short keystrokes we can research history, find a plumber, discover who the actress was in a movie we watched last week. It really is astounding. When was the last time you used the Yellow pages? When was the last time you looked in an encyclopedia? The internet and in particular Google has and is still changing the face of the world. Google has one aim and that is to provide relevant content. As a result the algorithms that power Google are top secret. An entire industry based around finding out how to get websites to appear on page on of Google search results has been born overnight. Search Engine Optimisation Specialists or SEO specialists have sprung up all around the UK. These people are usually Web Designers who have experimented relentlessly and found what works and what doesn't

My new iPhone 3GS has a google app on it that is simply brilliant. You simply lift the phone to your ear, (the phone senses the movement), you hear a beep, you then speak whatever it is you want to "Google", look at the screen and the results are there! Brilliant!

Google has marketed itself brilliantly. It entered the market quite late but is one of the very few companies who has managed to get their brand recognised as a verb. Can you think of any other companies other than Google and Hoover who have achieved this?


  1. hey stranger!I love google..I have learned how to take care of a cracked tortoise shell, why my medicines interacted negetively and what to do about it,how to remove stitches from a cat, among many other intersting things!!! interesting to read how it came to be...

  2. I am in Ireland working and I asked a clerk at the hotel to borrow some Scotch Tape (Clear Tape in America). They had no idea what I was talking about. They eventually told me that it was called foil tape in Ireland. Anyway the Internet is an amazing technological reality and it is mind boggling on how such a thing has shrunk the world into such a small place.

  3. I love Google too...sheer genius! I just wish I had bought stock when they had their IPO.

  4. Yes, you are correct, Enid Blyton had used the word "Google" in The Magic Faraway Tree. In my book on Enid Blyton, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (, I also point out that she had used the word, "Google' in describing a circus acrobat in a novel, titled, Circus Days Again. Interestingly enough, nowadays in the Internet world, we have acrobat readers!!! So whoever said Enid Blyton goes out of style?

  5. Debbie - A living example of how dependant we all are on Google!

    Amy - I can highly recommend the new iPhone 3GS

    Rob - I hadn't considered that one although maybe Sellotape maybe better known?

    MHL Sharon - Another one that got away eh? Not to worry. There'll be others!

    Eni - Thanks for dropping by. Enid will never go out of style, I still have a full collection of first edition Famous five books! I wouldn't part with them for the world :)

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