Sunday, March 30, 2008

Google Suggestions Time Capsule - First Quarter 08

Back at the beginning of this year, I became interested in keeping track of the top Suggestions that Google makes when you type a single letter of the alphabet into the search window, and how those change over time, and how much we might be able to draw from this as a record of the memes that rise and fall in our society over time. The original post is here, and although the post was created in January I have continued to update that entry on a weekly basis since then. A post that talks about the poll question that was started around the same time relating to Google is here.

I've talked before (in my entry Tens, Google and the Expanding Universe) about Google's battle with spammers and scammers trying to vault their particular site to the top of Google's search results, which is part of the feedback loop that becomes Google's awesome responsibility: because once something becomes a top search result, it is more likely to stay there for a while. Do you know about the the "Find Chuck Norris" experiment? You type those three words into Google, push the "I'm Feeing Lucky" button, and you're taken to what at first glance looks like a Chuck Norris joke in the form of a Google error message. It becomes clear as you read further down the page that the window you're looking at is not affiliated with Google, and there are some discussions of viral marketing in the context of the Find Chuck Norris experiment that are linked to from the page.

How long will that page remain as the "I'm Feeling Lucky" result? That's really up to the gatekeepers at Google. Likewise, there are several key phrases related to the tenth dimension project that also show up as the top result in Google. Is that because of some deliberately viral manipulation of the search results on my part, or is it because more people in the world talk about those ideas in terms of the Imagining the Tenth Dimension project than in other contexts? A number of book publishers have looked at my popular animation and website as an example of viral marketing which they would like to emulate. For me, there is nothing nearly as insidious about what has happened here: I have a set of ideas which I am fascinated by, the animation introduces those ideas, and my number one goal was to get those ideas out into the world.

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

1 comment:

bernie said...

Great suggestion, I tried it out on the keywords to one of my more popular articles. I linked to you from When Feeling Lucky Brings you here

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist