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The 110 Million Dollar Button

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-a-big-twinkie dept.

Google 191

Reservoir Hill writes "The 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button on Google's search page may cost the company up to $110 million in lost ad revenue every year according to a report on American Public Media's Marketplace. Tom Chavez says that since the company makes money selling ads on its search results page, the 1% of users who use the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button never see Google's ads - the button automatically directs them to their first search result. So why does Google keep the button? Marisa Mayer, Google's vice president responsible for everything on the search page, says that 'it's possible just to become too dry, too corporate, too much about making money' and the 'I'm Feeling Lucky,' button reminds you that 'people here have personality.' Web usability expert Jacob Nielsen says the whimsy serves another business purpose: 'Oh we're just two kind of grad students hanging out and having a beer and having a grand old time,' not you know, 'We are 16,000 people working on undermining your privacy.'"

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191 comments

Small change (5, Insightful)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453237)

Has anyone here ever used the "I'm feeling lucky" button. I think I did once in 1999. Usually it's the second or third result that's the most relevant.

Re:Small change (5, Informative)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453261)

Has anyone here ever used the "I'm feeling lucky" button. I think I did once in 1999. Usually it's the second or third result that's the most relevant.
 
Never have, but if you type a phrase into the address bar in Firefox it does the same thing.

Re:Small change (4, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454035)

I seriously doubt that Google is loosing $110M just because of that button. In fact, it's probably losing more money in bandwidth costs for the HTML code to put that button there. That button is like playing the slot machine. Every once in a while you get lucky, and find exactly what you want, but most often you just hit the back button and feel stupid for pressing that button in the first place.

Re:Small change (5, Funny)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454207)

Wait, there's a back button on slot machines? Damn it, I've lost so much money needlessly.

Re:Small change (5, Funny)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454215)

Every once in a while you get lucky, and find exactly what you want, but most often you just hit the back button and feel stupid for pressing that button in the first place


Which part of "I'm feeling lucky" was it that you didn't understand?

Re:Small change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453293)

Yes, every time you type something into the firefox address bar it redirects to Google's Im feeling lucky, quite handy. E.g. "imdb jaws", "wikipedia STD" or anything else that is guaranteed to give you the correct first hit.

Re:Small change (5, Informative)

bahstid (927038) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453357)

I think I use it almost all the time recently - in recent firefox versions I just type what I want in the address bar and it seems to get me where I want, or for more complex things I end up with a more usual search page. For example entering "slashdot wiki" in the address bar takes me to the wikipedia entry about slashdot [wikipedia.org] but "110 million slashdot" gives me a normal, as if using the search bar result with this discussion as top link. Best feature ever.

Re:Small change (1)

Cesa (972909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453713)

Or you could install the FX search engine "Wikipedia (3rd party - Google Lucky)" [mozdev.org] so you don't have to type "wiki" or "wikipedia" at all (it adds site:wikipedia.org to the search and uses the "I'm feeling lucky" search). Very handy, I use it all the time.

While I never actually hit the lucky button, I use it indirectly via the FX address bar all the time. It is very useful and often takes me to the right place. And how come the first post could get moderated to +5 I don't know, I find the first result of a google search is the best one more often than not.

Re:Small change (5, Informative)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453739)

One can also type "wp slashdot" in the address bar to preform a wikipedia search. This is default behaviour for firefox.

Re:Small change (5, Informative)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453965)

wp... or virtually anything you want. You just have to get to any search form, right click on its input box and select "Add search keyword" (I use Spanish FF, YMMV). Then it asks you for a name, a keyword, and the folder to save the "bookmark". I have wpe for Spanish Wikipedia, urban for urbandictionary, imdb for... imdb, and so on.

Re:Small change (2, Informative)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454027)

This is default behaviour for firefox.

Not here it's not (Windows XP, Firefox 2.0.0.9, both installed fresh about 2 weeks ago). It just goes to Google search for 'wp slashdot'.

Re:Small change (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454183)

I have my Firefox set up with all the keyword searches I need, essentially turning it into a command line. i.e. if I want to search for ${string}, I type "google ${string}"; if I want a definition I type "define ${string}"; if I want to look it up on Wikipedia, I type "wiki ${string}"; if I want to look up the weather somewhere I type "weather ${location}" (where it defaults to my hometown if I don't enter anything), and several others.

I find it pretty useful; but its really annoying when you sit down at another computer that does have it, and you type something into the search bar and it doesn't do what you expect :P

Aikon-

Re:Small change (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454231)

I prefer shorter keywords - google is "?" and Wikipedia is "w". Those are the only two I use. I also find it extremely annoying when I end up having to actually type urls when on someone else's computer... oh, I forgot one - slashdot is "/.".

Re:Small change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453451)

And now you know why the first result isn't what you are looking for.

Re:Small change (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453453)

I never use it. Perhaps Google are counting on `I'm feeling lucky` taking you straight to a site which contains Google's ads, and that you spend more time looking at ads once you've got to a site than when you're actively looking for the site.

Re:Small change (1)

Mad Dog Manley (93208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453499)

The best use for "I'm feeling lucky" is when you already know the first result will be the most accurate. For example, searching Wikipedia for a topic. Open google, type "wikipedia slashdot", press tab twice and hit enter and you are instantly at the correct page.

Re:Small change (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453539)

I use it for wikipedia and other searches (not the button itself, though, just an emulation of it), because I don't find wikipedias own search engine good enough. I just type "wi $searchword" in the address line, and there I am.

Re:Small change (5, Funny)

abscissa (136568) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453547)

I never got lucky by pushing a button. Unless "pushing a button" is used metaphorically to include phrases such as "I love you," "you are so beautiful," "just one more drink" etc.

Re:Small change (1)

Opie812 (582663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453657)

Similarly, I usually only get to push "the button" *after* I get lucky...or during I suppose.

Re:Small change (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453699)

Has anyone here ever used the "I'm feeling lucky" button. I think I did once in 1999. Usually it's the second or third result that's the most relevant.
And increasingly so... It's one of the significant issues with Google having so much dominance. From 1997 til 2001 or so the I'm Feeling Lucky button was a useful and fun tool. These days it pretty much fails more often that not in my experience. Since Google is the number one search engine and, as far as I can see, there's been little advance in search since 1997, the scammers know how to game Google now, and it's their number one priority.

Thus, I'm Not Feeling So Lucky.

I like Google, but they really really need competition, and some new ideas where search is concerned.

Re:Small change (1)

Moralpanic (557841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453781)

I use it myself occasionally, like when i know what the site would be and it saves one step (ie looking for VLC, i know that would be the first result, and i don't remember the url off the top of my head).

But what i really like about that button, is giving directions to people who are internet-illiterate. For example, instead of giving them a bunch of directions, i just tell them to go to Google, type in 'Firefox', and hit 'I'm Feeling Lucky', and follow the directions to download that.

So yeah, that button is helpful for me.

Re:Small change (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453867)

True. The first two tend to be porn of the more unusual varieties, depending on your search phrase and personal preferences. See rule 34.

Re:Small change (3, Interesting)

wilx (1065624) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453985)

I do. There are certain searches, like search for PuTTY, for which I know it definitely does find what I want.

Re:Small change (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454105)

Has anyone here ever used the "I'm feeling lucky" button. I think I did once in 1999.
That presumption is probably why the first two sentences of the summary quantify the impact of the button, both in dollars and percent of users. At least address the facts presented.

Or.... (4, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453239)

They know that the first result is pretty unlikely to be what you want, so you'll have to come back and do a real search anyway...

Re:Or.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453511)

I believe google themselves answered the question of why the button was there in an interview a while back, and they said about how it brings balance to the page

Re:Or.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453555)

It depends on the search really. I always treated the "I am lucky" button as an "I am sure" button - if you know the first result will lead to the page you want you save loading time and a click. Since the same function is integrated in the Firefox address bar, I'm now using that instead, e.g. "ubuntu" will get you to http://www.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] , microsoft will get you to http://www.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx [microsoft.com] , "yarr" will get you to http://www.yarr.org.uk/ [yarr.org.uk] etc.

So it is indeed a function that increases Google's userbase and what more does a company want?

Re:Or.... (1)

zoefff (61970) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453649)

or the first served page is still likely to contain google ads as well...

That's silly. (2, Insightful)

JackHoffman (1033824) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453243)

Have they accounted for the image benefit of the "I'm feeling lucky" button? Would Google have as many users for normal searches if that button were not there? Accounting will make everything look bad if you tell them to.

RTFS (2, Informative)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453745)

This exact point was made in the story's summary:

Marisa Mayer, Google's vice president responsible for everything on the search page, says that 'it's possible just to become too dry, too corporate, too much about making money' and the 'I'm Feeling Lucky,' button reminds you that 'people here have personality.' Web usability expert Jacob Nielsen says the whimsy serves another business purpose: 'Oh we're just two kind of grad students hanging out and having a beer and having a grand old time,' not you know, 'We are 16,000 people working on undermining your privacy.'"

Re:RTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453819)

That's lovely, but then it doesn't cost the company 110E6 dollars, and to make that number the headline, as if it were the relevant piece of information, is indeed silly.

Re:RTFS (2, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454251)

On the other hand, 90% of the sites that came up in my test of "feeling lucky" had Google Ads anyway.

Re:That's silly. (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453765)

If your company is run by accountants then get out now .... ... If you have to justify the cost benefits of every decision then you won't have any customers

This is not to say you should not be careful with how you spend money but you should not "penny pinch" either

This is why some companies make it so difficult to get through to their support department and why you only get to speak to a script reading drone - trained people who actually know how to fix the problems are expensive, but the customers prefer companies who have them

Lottery! (2, Funny)

the_Twisted (838440) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453247)

Google has a database of "I'm feeling lucky" users for special purposes.

$40 Million Dollar Logo (4, Funny)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453253)

I bet their logo is too rainbow colored too, must offend homophobes into using a more straight looking site like yahoo. I bet they're losing at least $40 million as a result.

It's a subliminal suggestion (3, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453257)

Every time you open the page Google tell you, you're feeling lucky.

They'd add a button for "I'm feeling smart" or "I'm feeling sexy" if they found a way of justifying such a button's presence.

Re:It's a subliminal suggestion (5, Funny)

Slashidiot (1179447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453365)

Well, sometimes you just feel lucky. It's fine to have a button to share it with google. Everytime I feel lucky, I go to google and press the button, I'm not searching for anything, I'm just feeling lucky.

Luckily, they don't have the "I'm feeling bored to death", otherwise i would spend too much time there.

Re:It's a subliminal suggestion (2, Interesting)

stivi (534158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453491)

Hey, actually not a bad idea. Imagine a button labeled "I am feeling bored" with a function like 'random page' on Wikipedia ... it will take you to a random page on the internet with not-so-high ranking. And for example, analyzing time you spend on that page before you return to Google to press that button again it can optimize the offer. I bet you can reach some interesting pages this way that you would not reach otherwise. There will be lots of rubbish of course, but you are bored anyway, so it should not bother you :-)

Re:It's a subliminal suggestion (4, Informative)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453585)

Hmmmm....you mean like StumbleUpon [stumbleupon.com] ?

Re:It's a subliminal suggestion (1)

meeya (1152133) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453793)

porno search engines can use " i,m feeling horney" button.:)

Re:It's a subliminal suggestion (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453921)

Legend has it every 1,000,000,000,000,000th person gets the view down Clint Eastwoods gun barrel when they click that button

Re:It's a subliminal suggestion (1)

Polir (675291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454015)

The parrent post is 100% insightful and NOT funny at all. This is how we work, like pictures of happy people and so on, these subliminal messages changes our unconscious behaviour.

Reason? (2, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453269)

Google easily found out that one hardly ever uses the button. They removed it. Then users began complaining, where did it go?
Users don't use it, but they simply feel happier, more secure, having it around.

Personally I'm missing the "I feel lucky" capability from Firefox search bar. Say, enter a text - a partial URL, a set of 100% sure keywords etc and press shift-enter, or shift-click the magnifying glass. Quite often I KNOW the result will be first, sometimes because I used this search before, sometimes because there's no way anything else could have beaten it. Sometimes I don't remember if the domain was com, org, us, de, net, eu, etc.

Re:Reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453331)

Just type that into the adress field instead of the google search field and it'll automatically use Google's "I'm feeling lucky"-thingy.

Re:Reason? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453427)

Only if it finds that unlikely to be a valid URL. If it's my URL with an error, it will just go to the error page.

Doesn't really cost them that much. (5, Insightful)

WibbleOnMars (1129233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453307)

Nah, it doesn't cost them anything like that. That's probably what it would cost if every one of those "feeling lucky" people had instead clicked on an ad, but let's be honest here, that would never have happened.

Those people who use it are
(a) people who already know that the result they want is the first one and wouldn't click anything else anyway.
(b) people doing silly google-hacks, like "miserable failure", or whatever.
(c) people who will come back any use google's regular search anyway for more results once they've seen the "lucky" one.

For all these people, using the "feeling lucky" button isn't stopping them clicking on any ads, because they wouldn't click them anyway. In fact, it is actually likely to be adding to their brand awareness of google, and thus making them more likely to come back to google for other searches where they might click on ads.

So yes, it might lose them a *few* ad clicks on the *actual* search involved, but long term, those people will be back and will click on other ads. Google isn't losing anything from this.

Re:Doesn't really cost them that much. (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453625)

Agreed. One also has to wonder, does Google get any "referrer" revenue from any sales generated by the "I'm Feeling Lucky" links. It wouldn't be completely unreasonable to think that if a user gets to a company's website via the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button that the company might pay Google a small fee/commission.

Re:Doesn't really cost them that much. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453701)

Of course it doesn't cost them anything like that.

Anyway, I'm not sure of the purpose for this press release anyway. Are we supposed to feel a twinge of sadness over money that Google didn't make? One wonders whether some companies will settle for less than control of all the wealth in the world.

What ever happened to "doing a good job, being financially successful" being good enough? Now success in business only seems to be measured by "total world domination" and "endless growth".

AJAX (4, Interesting)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453311)

I've always thought they should add some AJAX so that you know where this button will take you before you actually click it.

eg if you type in "oxford" the button should change to say "Take me to www.ox.ac.uk"

Re:AJAX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453379)

Ri-i-i-ight.

When I type "oxford" and see "Take me to www.ox.ac.uk/somepage.php?id=123&whatever=456" - that is really a time-saver!

Re:AJAX (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453411)

You mean performing actual analysis of your search input every every time you type "f", "o", "r", "d"?

Re:AJAX (1)

slim (1652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453595)

You mean performing actual analysis of your search input every every time you type "f", "o", "r", "d"?
Plenty of interfaces do this. It's likely they wait for a short pause between letters, just to save totally irrelevant searches.

For example, I use the Flock browser. If you type into the search bar, it updates a drop-down list with results from Yahoo as you type. ... and you can do it in Ajax too. For example the gardening site Grows On You has a field for the botanical name of the plant you're writing about. It uses Ajax to populate a drop-down list as you type -- this is based on a fairly standard Ruby on Rails recipe (auto_complete_for).

Re:AJAX (1)

DarthTibault (987189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453959)

Firefox has the google suggest feature built in in the searchbar as well. Not just for Google btw.

Re:AJAX (1)

Zann (989340) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453513)

They have it in the form of Google Suggest [google.com] . Still in beta, of course. Yahoo has this feature too, IIRC.

Re:AJAX (3, Funny)

WoLpH (699064) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453845)

Wouldn't that invalidate the "lucky" part of "I'm feeling lucky"? How is it "feeling lucky" if you know where you're going?

Re:AJAX (1)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453929)

I'd thought the punishment for suggesting AJAX on Slashdot was summary execution.

110 million ?? (1)

nfractal (1039722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453317)

Pretty silly. How do the losses translate to $110 million ?
So they're counting the entire bandwidth of the people clicking that button would naturally click all the ads ?

The article quotes Marissa as loosing revenue to tune of less than 1% ??
0.001, 0.0001 ?? what ?

Re:110 million ?? (2, Informative)

zav42 (584609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453457)

The calculation is probably pretty simple: 1% of people click that button results in 1% of 10 billion US$ revenue. This assumes only that almost all the 10 billion revenue is made with search ads (which is not true), but otherwise is a fair assumption. -Bernd

Re:110 million ?? (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453591)

Easy. It's really a 1500 MW Google Heavy-Duty Supercolliding Superbutton.

Not all google pages have this button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453349)

See for example: http://www.google.nl/firefox [google.nl] doesn't have the 'i'm feeling lucky'

Re:Not all google pages have this button (1)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453439)

> See for example: http://www.google.nl/firefox [google.nl] doesn't have the 'i'm feeling lucky'

Er, yes, because this is not the main Google page for your country. It's a subpage. Wow, http://www.google.nl/maps [google.nl] doesn't have an "I'm Feeling Lucky" either. Oh noes!

i guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453361)

they loose even more money by not having flash ads that slide into your screen on the front page.

see... (3, Funny)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453363)

'We are 16,000 people working on undermining your privacy.'
And here I thought they were just datamining your privacy.

And my capcha was confide, spooky...

They wouldn't look at the ad anyway (2, Interesting)

electronerdz (838825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453369)

Out of all the people that use that button, they probably already knew the first search result anyway, and wouldn't have even bothered to look at the ad on the first page. If anything, it saves Google on bandwidth (not that I think they have a problem with bandwidth). I use the button when I search for things like "windows xp sp2 it professionals" because I know exactly where it goes without me having to go to an extra page (where I would have skipped right over the ads and clicked on the first link).

It's branding. (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453383)

The phrase "I'm feeling lucky" is part of the Google brand, as has been since their search engine was incepted.

Notice the phrase is also prominent (and useful!) in Picasa.

The point is, losing it would be a big change to the brand, like making Coke cans with no red on them.

Who actually uses that button? (1)

sherriw (794536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453391)

Who actually uses that button? I can say that most of my searches, I don't end up going to the first result. If I were to use that button, odds are that I would get to the page, determine it's not what I want... click back, then click the regular search button. The odds just don't play out.

It's that little snippet of text in the search result that shows you the context of your search term- that's what really helps my searching. Now that I think about, I wish I could set that blurb to be longer...

And please... I'm pretty sure that button isn't fooling anyone into thinking Google is still just a friendly, underdog, basement project.

Re:Who actually uses that button? (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453455)

If I were to use that button, odds are that I would get to the page, determine it's not what I want... click back, then click the regular search button.

You are not lucky.

It's Marissa (1)

Any Web Loco (555458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453413)

Her name's spelled Marissa, not Marisa.

They're feeling lucky. (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453431)

The "I'm feeling lucky" button is there to remind us that the Google execs are really the ones feeling lucky with those fat wallets.

So lucky they can even afford to loose those big 110...

french military victories (3, Funny)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453459)

How can you forget the french military victories in "I'm Feeling Lucky" ?

Re:french military victories (2, Funny)

Bombria (1100369) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453851)

They kicked some Saxon a$$ in 1066, then the Scots in 1072. Credit where credit is due...

Needs more risk (4, Funny)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453493)

It's not really a huge gamble that the first result will be relevant. "I feel a vague sense of mild positivity" is probably more appropriate.

In order to generate a real, winner-takes-all atmosphere of living on the edge, an element of risk should be introduced. For instance, a 60% chance of going to the first search result, a 30% chance of going to tubgirl, a 9% chance of having your identity stolen and a 1% chance of having bomb-making instructions downloaded to your machine and a tip-off email sent to the relevant authorities.

Re:Needs more risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453671)

That's called StumbleUpon.com [stumbleupon.com] . Well, without the shock sites, the identity theft and bomb making, but it compensates with an extra dose of surprise.

Re:Needs more risk (1)

crimperman (225941) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453981)

It's not really a huge gamble that the first result will be relevant.

With most of the searches I do these days I find three of the first five results are links to another search engine. So there's a pretty good chance the first result *won't* be relevant.

Never noticed it (1)

miasmic (669645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453527)

I never even noticed there was an "I'm feeling lucky" button until I read about it in an article a couple of years ago and went and checked to see if they were having me on. And I'd been using google for years. Probably because I always press return with things like that rather than clicking on buttons with the mouse.

Googlewhack Spam (2, Interesting)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453531)

One good reason to remove the "I'm feeling lucky" feature would be Googlewhack Spam [symantec.com] . Spammers create a page with a unique phrase on it, and then send out spam with the special "I'm feeling lucky" URL, e.g. the URL http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&c2coff=1&safe=off&q=coelacanth+sharpener&btnG=Search&btnI= [google.com] actually takes you to Dave Gorman [davegorman.com] . Spammers send out emails with the Google URL in which actually redirects to the spammer site - this helps to foil spam filters and also causes problems for spam reporting tools which misidentify the spammer as Google.


It can be pretty easy to foil, as this post [shoemoney.com] on Shoemoney demonstrates.

And yes, you too can have fun in /. with Google queries for goatse.cx, tubgirl and 2girls1cup.

Re:Googlewhack Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453561)

Hey I know, how about instead of the regular search button providing search results it just gives you a page with 300 advertisements first that you have to view for at least 1 minute. Just think how much money they'd make then!

heh? (2, Interesting)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453543)

I never click on any ads, so Google should forbid me to use its search engine?

Vending Machines Take Note (1)

AJ Mexico (732501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453567)

I always wanted vending machines to have a "Double or Nothing" button. If you push that one, 50% of the time you get your product AND your money back, and the other 50% of the time, you get nothing (lose your money). Revenue neutral, but more fun.

Not as expensive as (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453569)

the History Eraser button!!! [youtube.com]

Dammit... (1)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453573)

When I saw the title of this article my first action was to take a screenshot and keep that button on my harddisk. To be sure, I have even had the idea creating 10000 copies of that button. To maximize the profit by not paying Adobe for Photoshop I was trying to use MS Paint. I pressed the "I'm feeling lucky button" and I got "MS Paint"...
I said... What the heck! This would mean that I can risk the business if it crashes. I pressed the button again.
I got Gimp. Downloaded... installed... I was prepared for anything and then it happened: I've RTFA (everybody on slashdot does it at the end, isn't it?) and all my efforts were in vain.

People use it?! I'm shocked! (2, Insightful)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453575)

Maybe it's because I'm a control freak or because I'm a pessimist or something else, but I've never used the Lucky Button. I'd love to see a psychological profile of the people who use the Lucky Button regularly.

Someone, quick, call Jakob Nielsen! We need an exhaustive study!

usa-what? (2, Insightful)

sulfur_lad (964486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453579)

Ahhh Jakob, lol. Web usability evangelist is more like it. "I'm feeling lucky" (as some have mentioned) is sometimes actually a pretty nice shortcut, it's also a fun way to spend an evening. I never would have discovered there was a band called "Johnny Uterus and the Philopean Tubes" without it.

How long (2, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453583)

until moneygrubbing investors pressure Google into ditching the button?

The 'maximize profit at the expense of everything including customer experience' really gets to me sometimes.

What Jacob Nielsen said (5, Funny)

tie_guy_matt (176397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453605)

Hold on a minute. So is he saying that they put the "I'm feeling lucky" feature in just so we don't notice that google is really "16,000 people working on undermining your privacy?" So they make us think they are "just two kind of grad students hanging out and having a beer and having a grand old time" so we don't notice that the true purpose of google is to undermine our privacy?

Time to put on the tin foil hat -- I am on to you now google! You just made my list!

Re:What Jacob Nielsen said (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453857)

...so we don't notice that the true purpose of google is to undermine our privacy?

Wait until you see Phase Two [theonion.com] .

Re:What Jacob Nielsen said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21454167)

they know

solution! (2, Funny)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453637)

Next they'll replace it with "I'm feeling gullible" and make sure it only ever links through to a page that already contains Google ads ;o)

Audiophiles (1)

jon_anderson_ca (705052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453673)

Is it just me, or does the story title make you think of audiophiles?

"My system has a lot more 'sizzle' when I use buttons made of a cobalt-platinum-titanium alloy."

I'm feeling... (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453679)

Change the name to the "I'm feeling stupid button". Link it to a trojan, and problem solved. ~:-)

Tax time! (1)

CircularHowler (1045760) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453703)

They should count up all the 'lucky clicks' and write off the lost revenue.

Privacy? (2, Informative)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453773)

'Oh we're just two kind of grad students hanging out and having a beer and having a grand old time,' not you know, 'We are 16,000 people working on undermining your privacy.'"

Undermining my privacy? The only information Google is able to get abut me is what I do online -- and not much of that. I wipe cookies once in a while, and that's the only reliable way they have to track me on other sites. Take off the tinfoil hat, Nielsen.

Of course, to throw them off the scent, I randomly view Oprah's website, NASCAR videos, and horse porn once in a while.

99% hit 'Enter' after typing search phrase (1)

uwbbjai (661340) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453811)

and that defaults to "Google Search" button.

Firefox Location Bar (1)

MrNonchalant (767683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453855)

I use this feature all the time without ever hitting the button. When you type a search query in the Firefox location bar it does a very similar thing. I'm not sure if this is counted in this statistic, but I don't have a chance to click any ads when I use it. Which is all the time, because it's way easier to remember the site name or what it was about than remember the exact domain.

Microsoft not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21453883)

I had an idea for a simple browser feature that would have cost Google significantly more, improved the browsing experience and made Internet Explorer the most convenient browser ever by a wide margin.

I wrote this in an email and asked for a meeting, but they conveniently ignored it.

Hence, I shall refrain from revolutionising the world of browsing and you may all enjoy things as they are. Carry on, brave people.

Sponsored link revenue imprint revenue? (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 6 years ago | (#21453909)

Quite frequently, I see that my Google searches start with a sponsored link as the first link.

What does Google earn when a sponsored link is used? If the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button drives some searches to the sponsored links, does this make up for the revenue lost by not showing a search results page with individual ads? Maybe the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button encourages advertisers to buy sponsored links, making up for the lost ad revenue from the search results page.

Just some thoughts...

Tough Job (5, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454009)

Marisa Mayer, Google's vice president responsible for everything on the search page
"1 input box, check. 2 buttons, check. 6 links check and 1 image, check. Right, I'm off home."

Privacy worries?? (1)

zeroburn (639929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21454259)

"16,000 people working on undermining your privacy".. Hail the paranoid king. Like if there were anything similar to privacy in the world after 10+ years of Micro$oft ruling the desktop computer segment. Worrying about Google's Apps now kinda lands a wee bit to late, doesn't it?

And by the way, Gmail was the best thing that ever happend to me, was glad to throw away Qmail and all the crap that comes along with managing a mail server. If all you think about is privacy you simply shouldn't use e-mail, and keep all your documents stored in a non networked computer.
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