In 1996, Stanford University PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the research project that would become search engine giant Google (GOOGL) ...if only your grad school thesis proved so lucrative.
The two devised a system that analyzed relationships among websites rather than counting how many times search terms appeared on the page, which was the standard of the time. Referring to how their search engine used backlinks to gauge the importance of a site, they gave it the unfortunate nickname, "BackRub."
Fortunately, they eventually changed the name to Google, playing off the misspelling of googol: the number one followed by 100 zeros.
And it's a good thing because can you imagine "BackRubbing" yourself?
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