Techie Saturday – The Secret of Google

For this Techie Saturday, I want to let you in on a secret. It is better than going to the mountaintop in search of a sage to get your answer to life’s questions. That secret is Google.

Now before I go into the details of my little secret I want to give you a little history lesson. The Google Company was started in1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They developed a search algorithm that literally destroyed all its competition. Larry and Sergey wrote their program, originally called “BackRub” when they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in 1996.

Let me pause here. What’s an algorithm? It is a computer program that uses a set of rules to be followed in problem-solving applications. In other words, it is a computer program written by a programmer to tell a computer what to do and how to do it. Now back to the subject matter…

Larry and Sergey’s algorithm searched information stored on computers linked together by the Internet thousands of time faster than anything else available at the time. Needless to say their “better mousetrap” led to many companies rushing to their door. They went public with their new company called Google in 2004 and it has quickly become the world’s largest media company.

Just like the source code for Apple Mac computers and iPhone and such, nobody knows exactly what is in the code behind Google search engines. That is way above my paygrade so I won’t even attempt to guess how it works. Now Google is not only a company but a verb. “Why don’t you Google that?” is probably said a million times a day now.

Let’s get back to my little secret. Most people don’t realize just how powerful the Google search engine is. One example of its use is the fake alerts that are constantly around us today about some bad guy trying to steal our money or identity. Social media is full of things that warn us of dire consequences if we do this or that. The vast majority of those alarms are fake, but they seem to spread from one social media user to another at a lightning pace. I have personally stopped hundreds of this alerts among the folks I am linked with on social media. It makes me sound like an authority in the field, but all I really had to do was google a few sentences of the alert to find out its fake and has been spread around for years.

I know this post is getting awfully long so I will try to sum things up here. The secret to being a guru on almost any subject is to learn how to Google it. In order to keep from getting a million sources, you have to keep your words to the point of your search. Don’t add any unnecessary details, just get to the point. It would probably take a book to thoroughly explain this but you do get better with practice.

You can google almost anything. For instance, I am constantly buying new and improved apps. I have apps for photography, sketching, databases, etc. When I don’t understand how to get something done in any of these apps all I do is google my question with the name of the app attached to the search and almost always get a detailed answer to my question.

One of the biggest things about this secret of life is being able to parse out the hype, junk, fake stuff from the facts. That takes practice but can be learned too.

Enough for today. I hope you get the idea. If you have any questions I would be glad to try to answer them but, better yet why don’t you Google them? 🙂

If you have a question about ANYTHING, just Google it

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