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Google, formerly known as BackRub, is…….

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BackRub? In its early days at Stanford, Google’s original name referred to how the system checked backlinks in order to estimate the importance of a site. Urban legend? Maybe. Upper-case great place to work? YES. My friend Crystal works at Google in NYC. Compared to most, it’s a pretty informal corporate culture. But, she says, you can be serious without a suit.

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The web search titan dropped $1.9 billion to acquire one of the largest and most historic buildings in all of the Big Apple. At nearly 3 million square feet, 111 Eighth Avenue is so big that it has elevators large enough to accommodate 18-wheel semi-trucks. Serious money, but also serious fun. There’s air hockey, ping pong, video games, a baby grand, a workout room, massage area, conference bicycles and nutritional gourmet food – all free and available 24/7.  Oh, and did I mention the really high salary?

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Here are some of Google’s new recruits on the west coast.

Google_Goat_Army

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No, they’re not part of Innovation Time Off. Or super-smart. But they are the ultimate multitaskers ~  they trim the lawns and fertilize, minimize Google’s carbon footprint and show the world that you can make money without doing evil. No kidding.

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I Google.

You Google.

Everybody Googles.

The instantaneously classic noun-turned-verb is a stonking great index of information. (As in ‘googol’, that number 1 followed by 100 zeros.)  I usually type more than three words in the search box and have the best luck with keyword phrases of eight or more. My searching process has matured since they started the April Fools’ Day hoax tradition. Like this one, the PigeonRank.

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pigeonrank google

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Google does a lot of things well. They invest in solar energy power plants and wind farms, generate ideas like the tap-and-pay wallet, and offer Speak to Tweet for everyone, yes, everyone, even those without an Internet connection.

Google is Search, Ads, Apps and Google Doodle. On certain occasions, the logo on Google’s webpage changes. A click on the Doodle links to a string of Google search results about the topic. The first was a reference to the Burning Man Festival in 1998. Others highlight birthdays of notable people, historical events, and holidays.

Like me, Google still loves Lucy. (Lucy ~ just the name makes me smile. Think conveyor-belt chocolates and stomped Italian grapes.) It celebrated Lucille Ball’s birthday with a YouTube Google Doodle, a time-travel tribute to a fellow trailblazer.

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“Work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun.”

Wise words from a dizzy sitcom redhead.

 I think Google would agree, don’t you?

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Toni 9/27/11

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