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I'm Feeling Lucky

Does luck hurt profits at Google?

     

BillyS

6:32 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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



I would guess that 99% of the time when I do a search on Google, I hit the Google Search button. But they've got that I'm Feeling Lucky button too.

I'm not sure of the history behind that button, perhaps it was placed there because Google wanted to demonstrate they provided good results (although luck shouldn't have anything to do with it). But to me it seems a bit outdated. I'm interested in other expert opinions too:

Why do you think the button is there?
How much longer do you think Google will keep the button?
How frequently do you think it's used? / Do you ever use it?
Does the button cost Google money or does it build goodwill?

MThiessen

10:09 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The "I'm Feeling LuckyTM" button automatically takes you to the first web page returned for your query.
An "I'm Feeling Lucky" search means less time searching for web pages and more time looking at them.

Don't think it makes them any money, it's just a small service for surfers. I never use it.

I doubt it stays on it forever.

Total Paranoia

12:17 am on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Interesting post Bill.

Peronsally I never use it if I am performing a general search as I want to be able to see all results including sponsored results.

Can be useful for tapping in a company name though and going directly to it. I love to save a click whenever possible!

Does it cost Google? Well I guess if general Joe searcher uses it and gets a good result then it means she will not see the sponsored ads at all!

djmick200

1:00 am on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Why do you think the button is there?

It always has been and perhaps it's original use has become outdated but remains a nostalgic symbol of the company and its search page.

How much longer do you think Google will keep the button?

Forever.

How frequently do you think it's used? / Do you ever use it?

Maybe more than we imagine, personally I never use it.

Does the button cost Google money or does it build goodwill?

Not sure it costs them anything, perhaps a sign of familiarity? If it was missing how quick would you notice?

BillyS

3:42 am on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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



I should have answered these myself...

Why do you think the button is there?
My guess is that at one time Google did this to demonstrate how good their search engine is...

How much longer do you think Google will keep the button?
Not sure. It does save some time...

How frequently do you think it's used? / Do you ever use it?
I only use it when I know the answer is obvious.

Does the button cost Google money or does it build goodwill?
It does cost Google money because they are missing out on sponsored results. In today's marketplace, I'm not sure it builds goodwill any longer. I suppose Google keeps it there for nostalgic reasons.

Bewenched

6:45 am on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Honestly ... I have never used that button when doing my own personal searches

Lexur

7:01 am on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



- Why do you think the button is there?
Simply nostalgia.

- How much longer do you think Google will keep the button?
Some years until someone realize there is no sponsored links in lucky searches.

- How frequently do you think it's used? / Do you ever use it?
I think it's rarely used. I do not use it because I do not search from the Google homepage but from the Google toolbar.

- Does the button cost Google money or does it build goodwill?
It cost a very small amount. A few sponsored links lost.

Total Paranoia

9:35 am on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think most folk quickly hit the "ENTER" button these days anyway.

Google also had a message on their homepage about doing that for a while.

decaff

9:45 am on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You can bet that the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button is not done in vain...Google analyzes all usability very carefully (hey when your site is generating something in the order of 200 Million queries daily)...you have some serious data crunching to do...

It may also relate to the "20%" play policy Google has..and the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button brings that spirit into the main interface..

You can bet that if this were affecting Google's revenues (as in suddenly 50% of all users hit this button as their first entry point into the SERPs .. and by passing the PPC)... then this button would get nuked in a heartbeat...(or is that in the blink of an eye)...

Hey..that brings up an interesting question:
How many blinks of an eye are in a heartbeat?

BillyS

10:30 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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



>>How many blinks of an eye are in a heartbeat?

I think there are many heartbeats between blinks...

SEOPTI

10:40 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Then button should be "Do you feel scared" about the search results, we will take you to position 989, there you will find better SERPs.

BigDave

10:59 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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



Well, if you want a little history of that button, go take a look at google.stanford.edu [web.archive.org] in November 1998.

If you had something with that much history, would you pull it off your page? I wouldn't without a good reason.

And I doubt that they are losing much money with that button. They don't get paid for showing ads, they get paid for clicks. the people that choose "I'm feeling Lucky" aren't shopping, they are looking for a specific site or specific information.

As someone else said, most people just het enter when they finish typing in their query.

Patrick Taylor

11:18 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think it's a quirky throwback to Clint Eastwood. Google, you made my day. And the phrase "feeling lucky" on a page gives off positive vibes. It may also vaguely appeal to people with the gambler instinct.

FlwrLdy

2:33 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It's whimsical and provocative and I hope it never goes away.

Got a call from a niche directory that sells listings for $300 - $800/year. The agent told me how successful their directory was in Google, and that without purchasing a placement, 'no one will find your site'. (This seems to be the favorite threat of directory salesmen.)

Asked if she was in front of a computer and what keywords would be targeted for our site (location, niche). She typed in the keywords and I told her to select 'I'm Feeling Lucky'. Viola! There we were.

'How much did that cost you!?'

'Just a lot of sweat equity.'

Delicious.

inbound

2:49 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Just a side note...

You can do a "I'm Feeling Lucky" search from the toolbar by pressing Shift+Enter.

Also, "I'm Feeling Lucky" does not appear on results pages. The only way to "Feel Lucky" on Google sites is from the homepage using the button (hence very low usage).

dailypress

8:22 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Interesting thread!

I never use it either but think that the button gives you an option; therefore adds value to the Google Search button. In addition to that, you realize that you never consider yourself lucky! ;)

Sylver

1:53 pm on Jan 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The button is probably not much of an issue. The one I am trying to wrap my head around is the address bar trick, which does basically the same thing:

Type your search term there and Google pops up the "lucky" website directly.

Goodwill?

plasma

5:16 pm on Jan 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



There are some irc bots that automatically query google and return the first hit.
Although this is against the TOS, I guess most of the bot creators use that feature instead of using the api.
 

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