Are You Feeling Lucky?
We’ve all been there: You go to Google’s homepage – you know exactly what you want to search for, so you type the words in the search box: Chinese Restaurants. And then, just before you press Search, your eye catches that button. The I’m Feeling Lucky button. And, instantly, you feel tempted to click it.
Even though it makes that one search a bit more entertaining, the I’m Feeling Lucky button is actually a very simple Google feature and have, through the years, lost a bit of its magic. The I’m Feeling Lucky button initially allowed users to be taken directly to, supposedly, the best website for the specific term they searched for. Naturally, with this results the user bypassed all other search results and pages.
In December 2009 pressing the I’m Feeling Lucky button, without typing anything in the search box, took the searcher to a countdown clock to January the 1st 2010. In 2011, pressing the I’m Feeling Lucky button gave the searcher a description for the I’m Feeling Lucky search. Today, if you’re using Google Instant, the button will lead you to the Google Doodles page.
Now, did you know that this little button costs Google around $110 million?
How? Well, according to statistics, around 1% of all Google searchers use this button. That’s not a lot compared to the 99% that does not use it, but the entire 1% skips the advertising Google would normally showcase. This results in Google losing around $110 million in possible profits.
The button evolved a bit since its first appearance many years ago, and its exact function is not as clear as it used to be. Today, if you type in something and press the I’m Feeling Lucky Button, it will take you to a website that best suits your area or specific web settings. For instance, if you type in I am thirsty and press the I’m Feeling Lucky button, it might take you to a list of nearby bars.
You should always be able to see the I’m Feeling Lucky button whenever you search Google from the default home page, but with the introduction of Google Instant, the purpose of the button also works a little different. If Google Instant is turned off, the button will direct the searcher to the Google Doodles gallery, but if Google Instant is turned on and a user hovers over the button, the button text will show the phrase “I’m feeling lucky” on the right hand side. Each phrase links to a website associated with the initial phrase.
So why, do you ask, does Google keep something that costs them such a large sum of money? Well, simply because it is entertaining. Through the years, the button has served as not only an example of Google’s courage, but of its undeniable playful, and might I add clever, side. Today, the button creates a little suspense in the day of the average Google wanderer. I mean, who knows where you’ll end up on the Internet?