What's the trick?
October 26, 2005 9:37 PM   Subscribe

How do 'they' do this? Google the word "failure" and click "I'm feeling lucky.
posted by bobduckles to Computers & Internet (19 answers total)
It's a Google bomb.
posted by Bezbozhnik at 9:40 PM on October 26, 2005

Response by poster: How does it work?
posted by bobduckles at 9:42 PM on October 26, 2005

If you read the link, it will tell you.
posted by dobbs at 9:48 PM on October 26, 2005

The weirdest thing about Google bombing is that Google ever included an "I'm feeling lucky" button in the first place. And possibly the second weirdest thing is that they called it "I'm feeling lucky".

Some people don't seem to understand that button at all.

It just means "go directly to the top result", (why isn't it called something like that?) so you could just search normally and see Bush come up as the top result, but somehow it doesn't have the same impact.

The weird thing about that button is that it means Google loses its prime real estate for showing you ads. Imagine someone proposing that at Yahoo for instance -- "I think we should let users skip the page where we show them the ads and go straight to the thing they're looking for". They'd be laughed at, at best.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:49 PM on October 26, 2005

How does it work?

Short answer? It's the top result for that search term.

Is that an accident? No. People worked on their websites specifically so that it would become the top result.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:50 PM on October 26, 2005

I've wondered that too, AmbroseChapel. My explanation is that it's a vestige of Google's less corporate days, and taking the button away now would hurt their "don't be evil" culture and public image.
posted by danb at 10:28 PM on October 26, 2005

Best answer: The word from Google
posted by the_bone at 10:35 PM on October 26, 2005

I think they found that there was a higher satisfaction with the "I'm feeling lucky" button on the page. The overwhelming majority of people do not use it, but apparently, people have a more plesant experience because it's there.
posted by rudyfink at 10:44 PM on October 26, 2005

It's been Bush for months and months.
posted by fshgrl at 10:52 PM on October 26, 2005

also note the adversaries' attempt to get michael moore to the top for the term "failure"

this site gives a few other examples of successful googleboms
posted by masymas at 12:22 AM on October 27, 2005

By the way, the guy who coined the phrase "GoogleBomb", Adam Mathes, and who created the first one at the expense of his friend was given a job at Google a couple of months ago.
That's something odd for your resume - "yeah, I was the one who started f*cking with your results for fun, please hire me". Glad they saw the funny side.
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:30 AM on October 27, 2005

"I'm feeling lucky" has definitely been there since the beginning, long before they had any advertising. The thing was, when you first saw it, you were amazed that it worked at all -- because other search engines were so haphazard.

And yes, I'm sure it remains because of unconscious goodwill rather than actual utilization. Remember, Google can still get something out of the statistics on who pushes that button and what for.
posted by dhartung at 2:54 AM on October 27, 2005

The 'I'm feeling lucky' button dates from the early days of google, at the time, they were making a statement - 'Our engine is good enough to find what you're looking for immediately'. In those days, when the competition was say webcrawler, lycos, or yahoo who sold #1 spot to whoever paid the most money, this was an essential selling point for google itself - it was a statement of intent and of quality of their search. The rest is largely history, but I'm slightly suprised that the lucky button is still there, especially since a lot of products like firefox actually use this to redirect immediately.
posted by BigCalm at 6:38 AM on October 27, 2005

especially since a lot of products like firefox actually use this to redirect immediately.

What does this mean? (/clueless)

I have to say, I've always enjoyed seeing "I'm feeling lucky" there but I don't think I've ever used it.
posted by languagehat at 6:52 AM on October 27, 2005

languagehat - if you go into the Firefox address bar and type some search terms it'll google them and take you to the first result, a la "i'm feeling lucky" as opposed to using the search box to the right of the address bar which gets you the full search results.
posted by phearlez at 8:03 AM on October 27, 2005

Ah, thanks.
posted by languagehat at 9:04 AM on October 27, 2005

Maybe it's not a trick.
Maybe George W. Bush really is a top result failure.
posted by hellbient at 9:24 AM on October 27, 2005

I'd think Google leaves the I'm Feeling Lucky business up there 'cause taking it out might cause a shitstorm.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 1:31 PM on October 27, 2005

I don't think I've ever used it.

I use it when I can't remember if a site is foo.com, foo.co.uk, or foo.whatevar, but can't be arsed going through my bookmarks.

To get to a site that isn't on my bookmarks bar (Safari) I can either navigate through at least two levels of bookmarks with the mouse, or hit CMD-T, CMD-1 (Google), and type "welsh assembly" (say) and click Dwi'n teimlo'n lwcus to go where I want to go. I can type and click quicker than I can click, scroll, and click, so it woiks for me.
posted by ceiriog at 2:58 PM on October 27, 2005

« Older That smell... is it me?   |   identify "Weatherman" song Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.