I’m Feeling Lucky – Thanks, Google

Yes, I’m feeling lucky. Isn’t that just a great slogan? Perhaps I should use that as a title for a new book – on say Gambling. Of course I can’t use that slogan to promote anything in any way related to search engines. Googlehas been using that phrase since 1997. It successfully copyrighted “I’m feeling lucky” in the US on November 30, 2004. They reserved it for anything related to “Extraction and retrieval of information and data mining by means of global computer networks”.

This all came to mind as I took a Virtual Factory Tour of Google Inc. on Thursday May 19, 2005. It was most illuminating. ‘I’m feeling lucky’ could almost be the company slogan too. Since the company started its IPO (Initial Public Offering) on August 19, 2004, its share price has risen from $ 85 to over $ 240.

It’s not just luck of course. Their search product is widely used and they seem to have got it right almost from scratch. On September 7, 1998, Google Inc. opened its door in Menlo Park, California. Just look at part of their search page in December 1998.

You can track the changes in the Internet Archive. On September 21, 1999, the beta label came off the website. So look at part of the current search page.

Isn’t that a beautiful example of the KISS principle?

You see that [I’m feeling lucky] button is still in the same place. So you have a choice. Do a full search and get a report with a series of possible answers. The [I’m feeling lucky] button takes you straight to the first of that list and immediately shows you the web page.

Whether anyone ever uses that button is open to question. However its very prominent place on the page transmits a subtle message. This search engine will likely produce the most relevant web page at the top of the list, so why not go straight there.

If a good proportion of people are really using it, then that’s why it would be even more important for example to have a company name that stands out on the Internet as we discussed in the previous post.

The more likely reason for that [I’m feeling lucky] button is that its just another way to build up the Google brand. The Google brand wants to be seen as simple and fast. [I’m feeling lucky] wraps that up in one simple button.

 

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