google wars

on the clash of deities, 'new economy' multinationals, linguistic theory, and some psychoanalysis of the typical blogger

Did you know that, according to that mighty search engine, google is almost as popular as The Supreme Being? On Google™, the search for 'God' turns up about 60 million links (all figures approximate), while the search for the word 'google' itself yields 46 million links. Not a bad count for a wee bit of software, however it appears the All Powerful One still holds the edge in our universal consciousness... Interestingly, Allah tallies just 1.8 million links, rather paltry in comparison to God--but before someone in Iran decrees a fatwa, I concede there must be a pro-Western bias on the internet, ie Westerners invented the damn thing and presumably use it the most, so it's normal that a certain three-letter deity gets more click-action (also, my keyboard doesn't know how to type in Arabic, which skews the results). And not to dismiss any nomenclature pertinent to that third great monotheistic religion, ie Judaism, but Yahweh clocks in at a mere 400,000, with Jehovah squeezing 550,000 links. But hey--regardless of spelling, it's all the same g-o-d right? Right. (I know, I'm asking for a lightning bolt to fly out from the monitor and zap me.)

Continuing in this confrontational vein, I wonder how google feels being 'out-googled' by their arch-nemesis, Yahoo, which clocks in at a whopping 120 million links. Even MSN has 53 mill, quite a bit more than the g-spot. IPO my ass: once Yahoo and MSN get their acts together, I think they're gonna wipe the floor with the beloved 'people-power' search machine. (I hope no one at Google™-owned blogger.com is reading this... I swear I'm just kidding guys)

But the grand-daddy of all google search items has to be--wait for it--(drum roll here) THE DEFINITE ARTICLE, which garners a staggering 5.7 billion links. Very impressive; it goes to show you that semantic precision pays off, as that wishy-washy grammatical cousin, the indefinite article, falls well behind in the links count with a second-best 3.6 billion.

Also, it turns out the online universe may be heavily populated with 'me-first' egomaniacs (what's that I said about bloggers?), as I is getting more than twice the play you does--1.3 billion links for 'I' compared to 0.5 billion for 'you'. As for 'me', that registers 316 million (but as for ME, personally, ie 'Freedom is a Cupcake'? My pathetic site is barely cracking 5,000). So heck, it's no wonder e-commerce (7 million) hasn't really taken off as hyped--why should I entrust my credit card number (4324109076542483... yeah that's the one) to a creature as dangerously narcissistic and self-interested as the (291 million) internet??

Finally, I think it's funny how 'google', which, until recently, wasn't an actual English word, has absolutely destroyed the legitimate word 'googol' in terms of 'google hits'. It's funny because 'googol', with its relatively worthless 26,000 links, is the word that represents the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes (ie 1 googol = 1.0 × 10*100)--a ridiculously massive number--and yet, 'googol' is not able to compete in the 'google' cyberscape. It's even funnier still, since as I understand it the intended brand name for 'Google™' was, in fact, supposed to be 'Googol™'--until the developers found out 'Googol™' was already taken, and so due to trademark regulations, a new word, 'google', is born, and ends up being, for us human beings, far more impressive than the mathematically mighty googol! Now is it just me, or is all of that pretty funny?

( ... I dunno, it's probably just me.)

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