Google Turns 10: A Look Back It's not often that a product or service becomes so pervasive that people start using it as a verb. On the 10th anniversary of Google, a look back on its influence through the lens of popular culture.
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Google Turns 10: A Look Back

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Google Turns 10: A Look Back

Google Turns 10: A Look Back

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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And now, a happy birthday to a 10-year-old with a silly name who is taking over the world.

(Soundbite of song, "Google Me")

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) Google me baby.

Ms. TEYANA TAYLOR (Singer): (Singing) You better have somebody.

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) You better Google me baby.

LYDEN: A little company named Google was born 10 years ago today. It started with a search, now it's email, maps, YouTube, Blogger, a new web browser, and soon cell phones. Google is everywhere.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Sex and the City")

Ms. SARAH JESSICA PARKER (Actress): (As Carrie Bradshaw) According to my new best friend,…

Ms. KIM CATTRALL (Actress): (As Samantha Jones) You Googled him.

Ms. PARKER: (As Carrie Bradshaw) The man has dated every woman…

(Soundbite of movie "Knocked Up")

Ms. MAUDE APATOW (Actress): (As Sadie) You know what I did the other day?

Ms. LESLIE MANN (Actress): (As Debbie) What?

Ms. APATOW: (As Sadie) I Googled murder.

Ms. MANN: (As Debbie) You Googled murder?

Ms. APATOW: (As Sadie) Yeah

President GEORGE W. BUSH: And one of the things I have used on the Google is to pull up maps.

(Soundbite of TV show, "The Simpsons")

Ms. JULIE KAVNER (Voice Actress): (As Marge Simpson) 629,000 results? Wow. And all this time I thought Googling yourself meant the other thing.

LYDEN: In 2006 the verb Google was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Here's linguist Jeff Nunberg.

Mr. JEFF NUNBERG (Linguist): And this happened, actually, to a fair number of trademarks. Spackle's a trademark we use as a verb. So is rollerblade, so is sheetrock, so is Photoshop.

LYDEN: While Google was in development, it wasn't called Google, though, it was codenamed Backrub. That came from the original idea of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to rank a webpage based on the number of other pages that linked back to it. Get it? Backrub? The story goes, the pair was looking for a new name that would reflect the huge amount of information their search engine would index. Finally they decided on the number googol; a one followed by 100 zeroes. But the name they registered actually had a typo.

Here's Google's Marissa Mayer.

Ms. MARISSA MAYER (Google): So he typed it in, and it was available. The next morning, Lucas, their officemate who now works at Google walked in and he said, Lucas, guess what? We named the company and Lucas looked at him and said, that's great but you idiots spelled it wrong. Because google the number is G-O-O-G-O-L and they had spelled it G-O-O-G-L-E.

LYDEN: Yeah, idiots all right. Google doesn't actually have a googol's worth of pages indexed yet. In July, the company announced the milestone. Its servers had discovered one trillion unique pages on the internet, that's only 12 measly zeroes.

(Soundbite of song, "Google Me")

Unidentified Man: (Singing) You ain't nobody.

Ms. TAYLOR: (Singing) Google me baby.

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) You better have somebody.

Ms. TAYLOR: (Singing) Google me baby.

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