March 21, 2002 3:52 PM   Subscribe

Google is an amazing resource, and has changed how many access the web. Some say they did it by not hiding the banana. But for those that are curious, here is the research paper that started it all.
posted by patrickje (19 comments total)
Too bad the banana article doesn't mention google's best feature, the 'cached snapshot'.

I'm surprised I never see anyone mention All The Web, it usually gives me a few pages that google hasn't indexed.
posted by bobo123 at 4:17 PM on March 21, 2002

Uhm.. this article? Reads well, although it started putting me to sleep after about three paragraphs. It's bull though. Why did Google get to be top dog? The answer is simple:

1) Google is successful because Google works. When I go to a search engine other than Google, I get crap, and I have to go to Google anyway. When I search something on Google, I get what I want. I would imagine other people have similar experiences.

2) Google doesn't try to sell me crap that I don't want while it shows me links that it pretends I do want. All the other search engines use banner ads on every page and text-based links that are just badly hidden ads which sometimes have something vaguely to do with the search criteria. The only ad I see at Google is for the Google Toolbar. I mean it's bad, cuz these search engine companies do have to find a way to make money, but when you go straight to google it doesn't behave like an encyclopedia salesman, so naturally people will feel more inclined to go there.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:36 PM on March 21, 2002

I'm surprised they managed to neglect the two reasons for google's early success:
1) Google worked.
2) Nothing else did.
Of course, that doesn't explain google's continued success:
1) Google still works.
2) Google works well enough that even if someone came up with something better, consumers wouldn't bother trying it.
posted by swell at 4:47 PM on March 21, 2002

Erm, yeah, what Zach said.
posted by swell at 4:48 PM on March 21, 2002

"I found my banana at! Ask me how!"
posted by davidmsc at 4:48 PM on March 21, 2002

Zach - he said the same thing, but it kinda got lost in all the filler - Clean navigation (no ads) and singular focus (it searches, and not much else).

Though timing had something to do with it. Funding always help, and they got it.
posted by Nauip at 5:11 PM on March 21, 2002

I've tried using All the web, and my results have been less than satisfactory.

I remember several years ago, when I would have several search engines bookmarked, and when I wanted to find something, I would start looking at the results for each. Now all I ever do is type what I want into my GoogleBar. It really has changed how I use the web.

An example: My wife and I are having a baby, and she wanted a website that lists baby names by popularity by year. So I told her to just Google for it, and it was the second entry on the list.

Which brings up a point, I think Google needs more advertising, those of us who use computers everyday take Google for granted, but non-techies, more than likely use their start-up portal search engine.
posted by patrickje at 5:27 PM on March 21, 2002

I don't think the trying to sell you crap has much to do with it. Maybe in the extreme, with truly horrible navigation and so on. But I would have been willing to put up with Altavista at its most portal-y and obtrusive if it had actually returned decent results. I'd say the lack of annoying ads is definitely a bonus on Google, but probably not really a tremendous factor in its success. Most people are so used to ad-laden sites that Google looks a little suspicious without them.
posted by frenetic at 5:30 PM on March 21, 2002

Google made us the laughing stock of the entire quadrant.
posted by Settle at 5:33 PM on March 21, 2002

In addition to the points mentioned above, I think some of Google's popularity is due to their sense of humor.
posted by pheideaux at 6:01 PM on March 21, 2002

Does anyone else remember a search engine called infind? I really really liked it even before google truely took off. But the company neglected the search engine end of the business and didnt really promote it or spend money on r&d. I think it eventually went out of business.

I truely like google. But I think another reason ( albeit a secondary reason) for its increasing popularily could be that it has managed create an aura/cult/buzz around it and unlike other companies, has managed to sustain the buzz. Google is one of the few companies which are so good at marketing that people dont notice that it is marketing itself so well.
posted by justlooking at 6:24 PM on March 21, 2002

God bless google.
posted by holloway at 6:32 PM on March 21, 2002

I'd make sweet love to my GoogleBar if only I could.
posted by brittney at 6:38 PM on March 21, 2002


You may call me 'GoogleBar' if you'd like....
posted by patrickje at 7:45 PM on March 21, 2002

Googlebar - Good

Dave's Quick Search - Better
posted by yonderboy at 2:03 AM on March 22, 2002

I'd make love to my co-worker Dave's aeron chair, if I could.
Oh wait, I can. And have. Twice now, in fact.

Happy sitting, Dave.
posted by dong_resin at 2:43 AM on March 22, 2002

Was it a "peanut butter jelly time" banana?
posted by byort at 5:45 AM on March 22, 2002

holloway, that link rules. I mean, r00lz.
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:39 AM on March 22, 2002

sapphireblue: ph31de4\/x h4d 1t f0r57.
posted by holloway at 1:46 PM on March 22, 2002

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