From Link Building Wiki
History of Google
In 1996 two Stanford University Students - Larry Page and Sergey Brin - got together to start their own search engine called BackRub. It was named BackRub because it used incoming links, or back links to measure a site's value (link popularity). This link popularity factor is better known as PageRank.
Not only was BackRub unique in it's ability to measure a site's worth by counting incoming links but it was also one of the few search engines to run on low-end inexpensive computer hardware.
Today, Google is worldwide and used by millions of people per day. It is the most influential search engine on the planet.
What "Google" Means
When Google was formed it was decided that they would use a play on the word "Googol." A Googol is the number "1" followed by 100 zeros.
Googol was first coined by Milton Sirotta who was the nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. Later the term was popularized in the book, "Mathematics and the Imagination" by Kasner and James Newman.
Found on the Company's corporate page:
"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
Why Google is Important
Google is the most used search engine. It accounts for half or more of the typical website's search engine referrals. As such much focus is placed on Google when one performs Search Engine Optimization or Link Building.
Google has recently gone through changes which directly impacts one's ability to perform search engine marketing, but even more so link building. The addition of new algorithms which age factors has dramatically changed how search engine marketing is performed. The new factors have been also referred to as the Google "Sandbox." Some of the factors include link aging.