The 21 Most Important Googlers You’ve Never Heard Of

Salar Kamangar Google 1999

[credit provider=”Doug Edwards, Xooglers”]

Everyone knows about Larry, Sergey, and Eric.However, few people know about the rest of the Google team that really made it possible.

We recently read Steve Levy’s thorough book on Google, In The Plex, and pulled out some of the names that popped up.

These people might not be as famous (or rich) as Larry and Sergey, but their contributions were key to making Google the beast it is today.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”andy-bechtolsheim-dave-cheriton-ram-shriram-and-jeff-bezos-were-the-first-backers-1″
title=”Andy Bechtolsheim, Dave Cheriton, Ram Shriram, and Jeff Bezos were the first backers”
content=”Without investment from these angel investors, Google may not have been able to get going. Interestingly, Jeff Bezos was one of the first people. He might still be holding onto some Google stock, says Levy.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4db94ed6ccd1d5af68010000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”amit-singhal-totally-rewrote-the-code-google-used-to-determine-what-mattered-in-search-in-2001-2″
title=”Amit Singhal totally rewrote the code Google used to determine what mattered in search in 2001″
content=”The original code Google used to determine what signals mattered was written by Larry Page, but it was in desperate need of a rewrite. So early hire Amit Singhal did it.

Five years later Singhal was named a Google fellow and probably awarded millions for his work.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b1d5aa50000000000f17106″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”matt-cutts-killed-porn-from-googles-results-3″
title=”Matt Cutts killed porn from Google’s results”
content=”Google needed to weed out unsafe results from its search, like porn. Matt Cutts was the man tasked with looking at websites to determine what was and what was not porn. From there he assembled a list of signals for the search engine to filter out the filth.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b9940a57f8b9a07213c0200″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”peter-norvig-helped-establish-google-as-a-place-where-smart-people-could-tackle-big-problems-4″
title=”Peter Norvig helped establish Google as a place where smart people could tackle big problems”
content=”Peter Norvig left NASA to join Google, where he established the company’s research division. This was in 2000, when Google was just starting out. Why would a search startup need a research division? It could attract really smart people working on tough artificial intelligence problems which helps search results.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dc2cddc4bd7c8db07000000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”franz-och-built-googles-impressive-translation-services-5″
title=”Franz Och built Google’s impressive translation services”
content=”Franz Och specialised in machine translations, and helped making Google’s translation services better than the rivals.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dc2d89bccd1d5c7060f0000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”ben-gomes-built-google-instant-6″
title=”Ben Gomes built Google Instant”
content=”Google’s ‘instant’ search results were rolled out last year, but ‘one of the original search rock stars’ Ben Gomes was working on it for years. (He’s the guy in the blue shirt.)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dbb33dfcadcbbb70f020000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”georges-harik-and-noam-shazeer-created-the-underlying-data-that-led-to-adsense-7″
title=”Georges Harik and Noam Shazeer created the underlying data that led to AdSense”
content=”Harik and Shazeer spent years analysing data on webpages, trying to understand clusters of words and how they worked together. The data they gather wound up being used by Google for its AdSense product, which analysed webpages for words, and then stuck ads on them.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dc2def0cadcbb3f0b300000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”eric-veach-was-key-in-building-adwords-for-google-8″
title=”Eric Veach was key in building AdWords for Google”
content=”When Eric Veach joined Google he went to the ‘backwater of the company’ working on ads. He eventually ended up being a key employee as he developed the auction system for advertisers to buy AdWords.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dc2db02cadcbb4b09020000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”urs-holzle-was-responsible-for-googles-infrastructure-as-well-as-alarming-the-company-about-facebook-9″
title=”Urs Holzle was responsible for Google’s infrastructure, as well as alarming the company about Facebook”
content=”Urz Holzle was a key employee, helping to build Google’s Data centres, as well as writing the widely read essay inside of Google that warned of Facebook’s power.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ca9e5c97f8b9a6b479a0100″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”wesley-chan-built-googles-analytics-software-10″
title=”Wesley Chan built Google’s analytics software”
content=”Google’s analytical software on websites was pretty weak until Chan came along. He decided to buy a company called Urchin for $20 million, then integrated it into Google to make Google Analytics. The better the analytics software Google offered, the more ads people purchased.

Chan says Google Analytics generates about $3 billion more in revenue.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dc2da1349e2ae70162b0000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”diane-tang-created-the-keyword-pricing-index-11″
title=”Diane Tang created the Keyword Pricing Index”
content=”Tang’s system helps to price keywords for advertisers to think about how much they’ll have to pay.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dc2df81ccd1d5b714080000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”nicole-wong-and-andrew-mclaughlin-helped-shape-googles-public-policy-and-privacy-stances-12″
title=”Nicole Wong and Andrew McLaughlin helped shape Google’s public policy and privacy stances”
content=”When Nicole Wong joined Google, the company was about to release Gmail, which caused a lot of controversy because it scanned user’s emails for keywords for ads. Wong had to help defend Google’s decision. She would do it over and over again.

McLaughlin was also key in shaping Google’s public policy over the years and had to do many legal tangos for the company.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dc2dc5acadcbb3e09220000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”salar-kamangar-is-the-most-important-googler-youve-never-heard-of-13″
title=”Salar Kamangar is the most important Googler you’ve never heard of”
content=”Kamangar helped build AdWords, then he helped make Google Docs, and after that he went to run YouTube.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dbb403accd1d5a223080000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”lars-bak-was-ready-to-retire-but-google-talked-him-into-making-the-chrome-browser-super-fast-14″
title=”Lars Bak was ready to retire, but Google talked him into making the Chrome browser super fast”
content=”Danish computer scientist Lars Bak set up a team of Googlers at his farm to make Chrome the fastest browser on the web.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bcdcb4f7f8b9a170f010300″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”heather-adkins-was-only-25-when-she-was-put-in-charge-of-cybersecurity-for-google-15″
title=”Heather Adkins was only 25 when she was put in charge of cybersecurity for Google”
content=”By the time Adkins reached Google she was already a Valley veteran, having worked at Excite and another startup.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e1df92ecadcbb3d3a050000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”more-google-nostalgia–16″
title=”More Google nostalgia …”
content=”Meet the Googlers from that fantastic 1999 Video »
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4db7c9f44bd7c85865050000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]