The Google search engine was created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were PhD students at Stanford University in 1995. Page and Brin were working together on a project called "BackRub," which concerned citations for information on the web--so called "backlinks." While collaborating on this project, Page and Brin developed an algorithm to rank the citations found through search results, and realized that if citations were basically web links, then this ranking system could be used to devise a search engine superior to anything previously known. Page reasoned that:
If he could divine a method to count and qualify each backlink on the Web, as Page puts it "the Web would become a more valuable place."
Page was right. Google became an instant success among the research community at Stanford, and by 1997, having "begged and borrowed" for the resources to do so, and despite Page and Brin's personal reservations about the struggles involved in starting up a business and turning their webcrawler into a money-making proposition, Google became a fledgling company.