Eileen Heinz Majors
The beginning of Google
It was September of 1998 when Google filed for incorporation in California and opened a bank account with their newly formed name. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had only met a couple of years earlier when Sergey was assigned to show Larry around for a look at Stanford University. Their collaborations would change the world.
The name they chose is a play on theword googol, which equates to the figure 1 followed by 100 zeros, which is equal to 10 to the 100th power. As you can imagine, they were planning something big; a way to use the world wide web to spread a seemingly infinite amount of information.
In September of 1998 Google set up workspace in a garage in Menlo Park. PC Magazine reported that Google “has an uncanny knack for returning extremely relevant results” and recognizes them as the search engine of choice in the Top 100 Web Sites for 1998.
Wow! Had I really met the founders of Google?
It had to have been the summer around 1999 or 2000 when I met two young men on the beach at Lake Almanor. My late husband Mike was renting SeaDoos, but these two wanted to ride the stand up models they saw on the beach, our personal machines, Kawasaki Jet Skis. Mike told them they were not in the rental fleet, so they weren’t insured for renting. It was then that they told Mike they were the guys that started Google. Explaining what that was to Mike, who had not ever yet been on a computer, was not easy.
Mike quickly tells them, “My wife’s got a computer.” and yells to me, “Hey Babe, you ever heard of Google?” I walk over. “These guys started Google,” he said, adding, “I’m gonna let them ride our stand-ups.”
I was brand new at computers. I had just bought one and my late sister, Merilyn, was teaching me the ropes. I was a rookie no doubt, and a bit frustrated with the whole “computer thing” when I met the two. I was however, intrigued and amazed by Google who seemed to answer every question I asked online.
I quickly asked, “How is it you guys know EVERYTHING?” They both chuckled. One answered, “I’m sorry but that’s the best question you could ask.”
Having been in rural marketing all of my life, I quickly added, “and who pays for it?!!” They both laughed again and one responded, “Sorry again, but that’s the second best question you could ask.” We all laughed and they hit the water on our two fastest stand-up jet skis.
At the time, I had no doubt in my mind it was the guys from Google, but whether it really was or not, I was inspired as I realized this giant and valuable tool was about to hit marketing’s book of business in a really big big way. And it did.
Many things would change
It wasn’t long before I was a whiz on the computer as my sister Merilyn had predicted when she was teaching me. “You’re going to be better at this than me.” I laughed, and it was laughable as she was already making all the flyers and menus for her business and I was just learning. Hers was one of the few businesses for miles that had its own website.
After working on the advertising side of print for nearly two decades, then onto manage a radio station, I would end up pursuing my own venture, publishing Mountain Valley Living Magazine. And as soon as I did, I signed up for my Gmail account and kept my eye on Google, using their services, whenever I did need the tech world, like buying AdWords Express to promote Nor Cal Real Estate and seeking out articles offered by Google. I feel like I’m getting “Google-wiser” all the time.
Now we’re off to Denver for a huge digital marketing conference, put together specifically for publications like ours; three days of learning all about digital marketing from many of the contributors I have been following online. We are excited about helping more businesses gain search-ability. If you market a business and want to hear more about digital marketing opportunities, please call me at 530.256.2800. r Google history found at Google.com/history