50 Interesting Facts about Google

1Susan Wojcicki

The current CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, is the woman who rented her garage to Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 when they were creating Google.

2. The first use of "Google" as a verb in pop culture (TV) happened on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 2002.

3. Even though Google's self-driving cars have logged over 700,000 miles, they have yet to overcome the navigational hurdles of snow, heavy rain, open parking lots, multilevel parking garages, construction zones, and when the sun is directly behind a traffic light.

4. Google sought out to make the most efficient teams by studying their employees. Named 'Project Aristotle', the research found Psychological Safety to be the most important factor in a successful team. That is an ability to take the risk without fear of judgment from peers.

5. Google hires a flock of 200 goats regularly to chew away the grass in their lawns rather than using land-mowers.

6Larry Page

Google CEO, Larry Page, has a health condition that is slowly decreasing his ability to speak.

7. Google Maps calculates traffic by tracking how fast Android devices are moving on the road.

8. Google has found GPA's and test scores to be "worthless as criteria for hiring"; they have teams where 14% of their employees haven't gone to college.

9. In 1999, Google brought in 16 students to test out their search engine. Upon reaching the site, they sat still for 45 seconds just staring. Worried, Google finally asked what was wrong. All 16 responded the same: they were waiting for the rest of the page to load.

10. The largest natural bridge on Earth (Fairy bridge) was virtually unknown to the rest of the world until it was observed on Google Earth.

11Södertälje

When Fiat workers discovered that a Google's street view car was mapping Södertälje, Sweden, they sent a Fiat to tail it for 45 minutes and have it captured on street view in front of Volkswagen's headquarters.

12. An error of Costa Rica's border on Google Maps led to an invasion of Costa Rica by the army of Nicaragua. Google responded, saying that their Maps "shouldn't be used as a reference to decide military actions between countries".

13. A man named Robert Wiggen, who spent 3 years in prison, started a website that posts mug shots taken from police department websites and makes them easily searchable on sites like Google and then charges money to have the images removed. His own mug shot is absent from the site.

14. In August 2013, Google went down for 5 minutes and, as a result, took 40% of all internet traffic with it.

15. AT&T Charges $40-$50 less for gigabit broadband in markets where Google Fiber exists.

16Street view

When a UK auto shop mechanic saw the Google Street View car coming his way, he staged a murder scene. Police paid the shop a visit a year later after the image was finally spotted on Street View.

17. In 2001, Neopets was the 4th most trafficked website on the internet, 8 spots in front of Google.

18. In 2013, Google bought the GPS app "Waze" which resulted in each of the 100 employees receiving an average of $1.2 million.

19. Google paid a fine of $22.5 million for illegal data collection, $500 million for knowingly allowing fraudulent pharmacies to advertise on their site, and were accused of profiting from women sex trafficking by 38 different anti-trafficking organizations.

20. In 2010, when Google replaced their logo with playable Pacman, users spent an extra 36 seconds on the page. Assuming this time was wasted, it resulted in a $120M loss in man hours.

21Heath Ledger

On the day of his death, "Heath Ledger" was understandably the number 1 search on Google. Number 2 was "Keith Ledger".

22. Google became more valuable than Russia's entire stock market back in December 2014.

23. Google offered to buy Friendster in 2003 for 30 million dollars. The offer was rejected and is considered to be one of the worst Silicon Valley blunders of all time.

24. Google hired a Camel to map a desert for Google StreetView.

25. British rapper M.I.A. named her debut album "Arular" after the nom de guerre of her father, who fought in his native Sri Lanka as a Tamil Tiger. Her hope - which would be realized - was that he would one day Google his old name, find her album, and reconnect with her.

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