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Why does Google attract so many analogies?

     

GoogleGuy

6:30 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member


Some people have seen the Thomas Friedman story quoting someone saying that Google + a wirelesss connection was a bit like God or something similar. Here's the other angle, comparing God to Google:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/cl/2003/004/14.14.html

Does anyone else wonder at the amount of analogies that Google attracts? It's a bit strange. I think of us as company that organizes information and helps people find that info. But it's a bit weird to see companies say that they are the "Google of X." I've seen the "Google of audio and video"; one company wanted to be the "Google of eBay," and I've even seen a company that claimed the mantle of the "Google of Homeland Security." Anybody else seen things like this? What's the weirdest one you've run across?

seindal

10:25 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think its because Google "knows" everything. If your need something, you ask Google. Google knows. Google is the close to being omniscient. In that sense it is god-like.

"The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48"
Omniscient Om*nis"cient, a. Omni- + L. sciens, -entis, p. pr.
of scire to know: cf. F. omniscient. See Science.
Having universal knowledge; knowing all things; infinitely
knowing or wise; as, the omniscient God. --
Om*nis"cient*ly, adv.
1913 Webster

For what can scape the eye
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
Omniscient? --Milton.
1913 Webster

Shak

10:30 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member shak is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Google of Google :)

Shak

SlyOldDog

10:43 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Here are plenty of them. For PageRank at least.

[webmasterworld.com...]

Wouldn't you want to be associated with Wired Magazine's only privately held company ever to make it to their top 40 companies to watch? And a number 1 at that...

jesserud

10:48 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The "god" one is pretty easy to explain: Google works in mysterious ways.

dougb

10:56 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yeesh, you guys are in for a real backlash in 2004 if you don't find some (genuine) humility soon. This is really getting unhealthy.

martinibuster

10:57 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



From the Wired Magazine article, The Google Backlash: "Google is like Joe Montana."

Ally_Cat

11:51 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Here's a good query for finding more of these comparisons:

Google is like... [google.com]

:)

loanuniverse

11:57 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



LOL, I specially liked this one:

Google is like the omnipresent techno God of the new millennium.

You should put it in your signature as a gag Googleguy. Err wait, no signatures here.... nm.

seindal has the best explanation so far:

think its because Google "knows" everything. If your need something, you ask Google. Google knows. Google is the close to being omniscient. In that sense it is god-like.

GoogleGuy

12:09 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



dougb, I think all the analogies are often a bad idea myself--and they mostly come from outside Google. Google is a great search engine, but it ain't even a little bit "godlike" in my book..

mrguy

12:39 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Nope!

Google is great for finding things, but when people start comparing it to God, I think it's time they take a little break from the Internet. :)

pleeker

12:41 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google is a great search engine, but it ain't even a little bit "godlike" in my book..

No, no. That won't be appropriate until one of your geeks launches a forgiveness-of-sins tool in the Labs. :)

Seriously, I remember several years ago when Amazon was just a bookseller seeing lots of references from other retailers who aimed to be "the Amazon of such-and-such."

That's just what happens when you get big, ubiquitous, and good.

NFFC

12:44 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>It's a bit strange.

It may be from the inside looking out but people don't see the computers, the engineers and the resources. They just see a need fulfilled time and time again, a "friend" that almost never lets them down. When you reach a level of use that nearly everyone relies on the same "friend" you move into a different space.

A few years ago my home town football [the mans game version] team were struggling. The star striker, Mr Stanley Collimore, had been injured for a while but was back on the bench for this game. The game wasn't going our way when mid-way through the second half Stan rose from the bench to enter the fray. Neither before or since have I experienced anything like it, almost 30,000 people collectively placed their hopes and dreams on the shoulders of one man. Almost as soon as he came on a ball was sent over the top, Stan was on it like a flash and with his first touch fired the ball into the back of the net.

At that moment Stan was the Google of footballers.

A few mins later he tangled with their right back, chinned him and got sent off, but don't let that ruin the analogy

>I think of us as company that organizes information and helps people find that info.

I think you underestimate how important that information may be to the person seeking it

ronin

12:46 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Didn't Lenin say:

"Soviet power plus Google equals Socialism"?

No, wait, I'm getting mixed up here...

Poppy122

1:29 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Knowing that Google has at her fingertips all the knowledge ever collected by man, I asked Google the oldest question of all time,

"Google, is there really a God?"

Google Answered,

"There is now."

dougb

1:35 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



dougb, I think all the analogies are often a bad idea myself--and they mostly come from outside Google. Google is a great search engine, but it ain't even a little bit "godlike" in my book..

GG, I know you don't think that, and I do respect your work very much. But at some level, since the answers were very predictable, I think you've posed this particular question in order to bask in more of the adulation that you're used to. Too much of this can have bad consequences [mythology.com]. (Link via Google :))

loanuniverse

2:37 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



dougb: I think the man is really confounded about the whole thing. While it is reasonable to expect a certain degree of professional pride on working for Google, I think it is a big leap to infer that kind of intention from his post. And I am not saying that just because he is a deacon in the church of Googleology.

GoogleGuy

3:47 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



dougb, I may have unconsciously have been doing something like that, but it certainly wasn't deliberate. Someone sent me the link to that "don't treat God like a search engine" article and it just struck me as very strange. I asked myself who could appreciate the strangeness with me and immediately came up with WebmasterWorld. :)

markus007

5:26 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



GoogleGuy, i think the vast majority of the world has no idea how google works, or IT in general, especially reporters. To them google is magic and god like. Since nearly everyone has been exposed to the power of google its something that people can make analogies to and be understood.

jimbeetle

5:59 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



i think the vast majority of the world has no idea how google works

I got twisted up with an analogy in a thread on branding the other day by thinking of properties such as Google or Yahoo from a user's perspective. I looked at them as not having specific functions (search, directory), but as places you go to find a whole heck of a lot of different stuff.

Again, that's from a user's perspective. These are the places you go to find anything and everything that's on the Internet that concerns everything and anything that matters in today's world. You've heard the phrases: "I found it on Google," or "I found it on Yahoo," and, possibly the only correct one, "I found it on Amazon." Many users do think that the pages Google and other SEs lead them to are actually part of those properties.

See how expansive your universe is to us common folk?

kamikaze Optimizer

7:32 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Anybody else seen things like this? What's the weirdest one you've run across?

GG:

You mean to tell me your legal dept does not have a research budget?... LOL

Thatís a good one GG! Let the public do the Googleing to assist you...

again, LOL

Powdork

8:14 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I would say at this point Google is more of a turn the other cheek god than an eye for an eye god. Or maybe they're turning the other eye.

Anyway,
Google is my cookbook.
Google is my dictionary.
Google is my cheat sheet.
Google is my encyclopedia.
Google (not Froogle) is my shopping mall.
Google is often my paycheck and
Google is my ADVANTAGE!

However,
Yahoo is the Google of portals (and thus, my homepage and entrance to Google).

MonkeeSage

8:54 am on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I'm having trouble following what the judicial standard that 'the penalty should fit the crime' (the ius talionis -- an eye for an eye...), or the social standard of 'suffer wrong without hatred' (turn the other cheek) have to do with Google...?

In answer to the question in title, I would say Google is a candidate for so many analogies because Google has become a paradigm exemplar of the web. Combined with our (western culture's) affinity for overstatement and emphasis, 'Google' just naturally becomes the emphatic representation of the whole web. Google itself is subject to analogy in the same way -- "Google is the Swiss Army knife of the web," the "MacDonald's of modern computing."

Jordan

kaled

12:03 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Many people feel the need to persuade others that they are successful and uptodate. Therefore, when attempting to be clever by making an analogy they will want to associate themselves with an entity, (person, object, company, etc.) that is successful and uptodate.

So, Google may either take it as a compliment that so many people hold Google in high regard, or they make worry that so many stupid people with low self-esteem hold Google in high regard.

Me, well, I'll try to remember never to use Google in an analogy, lest I be hoisted by my own petard.

Kaled.

PS
If people start saying that Google is the Microsoft of search engines, it's time to panic.

Yidaki

1:00 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>I'll try to remember never to use Google in an analogy
>Google is the Microsoft of search engines

Forgot to remember?

>If people start saying that Google is the Microsoft of search engines, it's time to panic.

Time to panic.

Kackle

1:22 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)



Didn't Lenin say: "Soviet power plus Google equals Socialism"? No, wait, I'm getting mixed up here...

You're thinking of Karl Marx, who said, "Google is the opiate of the people." Have you seen all their online pharmacy ads?

kaled

2:33 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Forgot to remember?

DOH!

Just call be Homer

dougb

3:56 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



dougb, I may have unconsciously have been doing something like that, but it certainly wasn't deliberate. Someone sent me the link to that "don't treat God like a search engine" article and it just struck me as very strange. I asked myself who could appreciate the strangeness with me and immediately came up with WebmasterWorld. :)

I see; well, forgive me for jumping on you -- I can get a little carried away crying foul as I've generally had an emotionally painful history dealing with Google in various capacities. I do think humility is very important, and it's not everywhere that I think it needs to be (or seems to be, to many observers) within your company.

To get back to your question, I think the reason for analogies to Google is pretty straightforward -- Google's currently the best at what it does. Using it in an analogy is a nice shorthand for all the good things (usually) that implies. People talk about the "Ebay of" and "Oracle of" and "Microsoft of" new products and services too, for the same reason. I think these comparisons are usually intended in an emotionless, businessy way, and have little to do with spirituality.

I've heard Enron and ClearChannel used the same way, but for very negative purposes. Don't let that become true of Google!

Jakpot

7:06 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Good God!

wanna_learn

7:11 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Google is the REASON... why we all likeminded people meet here!

Thanks google for giving birth to such a community , if not showing good SERP at timer ;-)

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