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Of Carbon and Silicon
Thursday, 16 June 2011
Fun With Google: One-letter keywords

Google is widely regarded as the most intuitive search engine/innovative software developer in the world today. If you want something done, chances are that Google has the app for you... or if they don't, type what you want into their text-line search bar and they'll find it for you using a complex algorithm of most likely searches, keywords, and boolean operators. However, Google is also not without entertainment value. Most people will turn to the search engine when they're bored or otherwise without entertainment. Go to Google right now (or, perhaps after you've finished reading this) and search, "i'm so bored right now". See what you get.

However, in all its complexity, Google's Instant feature can yield some interesting results as you type. Suppose you're there to search for "luigi's mansion 2". On most Internet connections, once you've typed "luigi", you'll already see Google search results for that keyword. You can finish typing your request, or you can start scrolling immediately to see what's relevant and what isn't.

Then again, on some faster Internet connections, Instant will start displaying results after but a single character is input. Therein lies the purpose for today's entry. For my first trick, I will take each letter in my name, "Sebastian", and input each into Google Search separately. Let's see what happens...

S: Southwest Airlines
E: eBay
B: Bank of America
S: Southwest Tennessee Community College
T: Translate (Google's own app)
I: Ikea
A: America Online
N: Netflix

Just for the deuce of it, let's search for the whole word, "Sebastian", now.
This is a bit tricky, though... it seems the top search is for the Wikipedia "disambiguation" (list) page. So, searching for "Sebastian" has led us into a meta-search, inasmuch as its first suggestion is another search engine.

So, Google is not totally infallible. Yes, that's all.

Posted by theniftyperson at 4:17 PM CDT

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