Then came Google. Brin and Page moved their fledgling company from their Stanford dorm rooms into offices in 1998. Their idea was that cyberspace possessed a form of self-knowledge, inherent in the links from one page to another, and that a search engine could exploit this knowledge. As other scientists had done before, they visualized the Internet as a graph, with nodes and links: by early 1998, 150 million nodes joined by almost 2 billion links. The considered each link as an expression of value – a recommendation. And they realized that all links are not equal. They invented a recursive way of reckoning value: the rank of a page depends on the value of its incoming links; the value of a link depends on the rank of its containing page. Not only did they invent it, they published it. Letting the Internet know how Google worked* did not hurt Google’s ability to leverage the Internet’s knowledge. – The information, James Gleick (2011)

* misschien bedoelt hij ‘letting the Internet roughly know how Google worked…’