Google is undoubtedly the largest and most popular website on the Internet. Every day, over 4 billion searches are performed. That’s about 3 searches for every 7 people.
It’s so popular, that not only was it coined a verb in 2009, but that many people have made spin-offs of the popular search engine. I’m not talking about Bing or Yahoo, but rather websites that use Google’s vast index of websites and displaying them in various ways. There are probably thousands of these kinds of websites out there, but for the sake of this list only the top 18 are listed.
Some of these websites are ingeniously crafted with new technologies such as HTML5 (see #s 16 and 3), while some are completely tongue-in-cheek derivations of certain aspects of Google (see the first item on this list and #9.) In no particular order, here they are.
Elgoog is Google, spelled backwards. Yes, Elgoog is a backwards search engine version of Google. All the text on the webpage, including the links at the top and the text when you type to search, is backwards. The search results themselves are backwards too.
Recently, Elgoog has added a few variations of Google, such as Google Underwater, featuring a half-buoyant Google logo and search box amid a sea of exotic fishes (http://elgoog.im/underwater/). There’s also a link to the famous Google Pacman, which wasted searchers around the world much productivity time and almost ruined the economy [end sarcasm].
There are two ways to access this website. There’s the short way, via the link above, or the long way, by typing in goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com (yes, that’s 56 o’s.) Besides its URL having a deliriously long chain of Os, it features a variety of eye-popping themes for you to search with.
16. Google gravity
This website was created by mrdoob, who describes himself as a “Non-creative award-losing junior developer.” Go to this website, and watch Google be subject to the laws of nature as everything crashes down. Amazingly, the search function of this website still works. However, search results are subject to the same gravitational force and come crashing down just like the Google logo and search box.
If you liked Google gravity, you may also like Google Sphere, by the same author: http://mrdoob.com/projects/chromeexperiments/google-sphere/. While it is Google-Images-only, the concept is novel. It’s like looking into a crystal ball and being enlightened by Google’s vast index of resources.
Mrdoob is such an amazing designer, his name will come up later on in this list.
15. The energy-savers
There are not one, but at least three websites all touting to save you energy and save the environment one watt at a time. These websites all have something in common: a black background. However, the claim that black screens save more energy over long periods of time depends on the screen that’s being used, and is still under debate.
- Blackle- http://blackle.com/. This was the original energy-saving search. It has a counter that shows the number of Watt-hours saved. The only caveat of this website is that the search suggestions are composed of grey text on a white (gasp!) background.
- Earthle- http://www.earthle.com/. Contains not only a black background, but also green and blue text to remind you that you are saving energy by searching through Earthle.
- Jabago- http://jabago.com/. More minimalistic than the previous two, but the same idea.
For the times when you’d rather have people figure out things yourself, than answer the question directly, use this site. It will generate a link to an animation that Googles a term for them, and asks the rhetorical question: “was that so hard?”
Quick! How do you perform a search (e.g. Red Hat) that returns ONLY the URLs that contain the keywords of your search (e.g. redhat.com, redhat.org, red-hat.com)? Chances are that unless you work at Google on the search engine itself, you won’t know off the top of your head.
With Soople, however, you’ll never have to remember the syntaxes for performing advanced search functions. Named after a simplified English dialect, Soople contains a page full of Google search boxes which allow you to search for things like keywords in files, stocks, site-specific searches, and more. No more memorizing keywords such as allinurl: (which is how you perform the search I was talking about at the beginning of this list item.)
Most people never look past the first page of the search results. As the old Internet adage goes, if it’s not on the first page, it doesn’t exist.
Lastgoogle laughs in the face of shallow searchers and digs up the last result. In fact, it only displays the last result, up to 1000 results deep. The limit is 1000, since “Google does not serve more than 1000 results for any query.” It even has an “I’m feeling unlucky” button which takes you directly to that last search result.
Beware though, some searches may return material that is “not safe for decent human beings.”
What does Google say about a particular topic? Use this website and it will give you a huge list of sayings, appropriately termed “Googlisms.”
For example, some Googlisms about Seattle are that it is:
- … a great place to live;
- … third;
- … a target;
- … just a start;
- … the center of the world for the;
Of course, these Googlisms come out of search suggestions and can sometimes, be quite hilarious (see).
10. Google Fight
Who’s more popular, Beyonce or Britney? How about Macs or PCs? Watch these and millions of other topics duke it out at Google Fight. Ninja stick figures are even provided for your entertainment as the website tabulates the results.
9. No Chuck Norris
No Chuck Norris is simply a fake Google Search error page showing a fake Google Search result. Googling anything on this website will usher you to an extensive list of Chuck Norris jokes.
Written by Stefan Grothkopp, Goosh transforms Google into a command-line based search. It works just like regular search. You type in a search term in the command line, and Goosh brings up the results. Goosh can also search Google Images, Video, and Blogs.
However, many computer geeks would go bananas had Goosh not had command line-esque commands. Never fear, it does, and it has plenty! If you’re new to Goosh, type help in the command line to view a list of commands. You don’t need to be a command-line whiz to use Goosh either; help does a pretty decent job of explaining how to use the advanced features of Goosh.
Startpage could be the web’s most private browser to date. They take such extreme measures to protect your anonymity on the web, that it makes Google look like a conniving identity thief. These measures include collecting absolutely zero data about their visitors; no OS, browser, or IP information. In fact, your searches are never recorded, and the only cookie received from the website is an optional “preferences” cookie. The search engine was created in response to the questionable data-collection policies of big search engines such as Yahoo and Google (ironically enough.)
6. Google Loco
This may be the best simulation of a caffeine rush while searching on Google (other than a pure shot of caffeine of course.) The letters in the Google logo dance about freely, while the search box playfully changes color with your every keystroke. In addition, the Windings font is also used for the Search box and its two buttons. Also notable is the instant searching – no need to hit the Loco Search button – yet, the lack of search suggestions.
If you like Google Loco, try Googletronica at http://www.unceunce.com/. Warning: Raipdly-changing colors on webpage may cause disco fever.
5. Weenie Google
At Weenie Google, you better search fast or else you won’t be able to read anything on the page! From the time the page is loaded, all text and the input box shrink, and “may make you feel inadequate”, touts the author. The search results do not go through the shrink-ray, however, so there’s no need to squint to read them.
4. Epic Google
Weenie’s big brother, Epic Google, achieves the exact opposite effect. As the author claims, it is “for when you feel excessive.” Like its little brother, Epic features a Google that is ever-expanding. Another warning to users: either get a Jumbotron, or complete your search before the monster devours your screen! Epic is hungry and does not stop growing for a while.
Similarly to Weenie, search results are printed in normal font size.
3. Rotational dynamics
Warning! This version of Google may cause dizziness. Thanks to some crazy web programming, the author of this webpage has made Google spin round and round, making searching – and reading the results — a challenge. But it doesn’t stop with the search results. Clicking on any website in the search results will not stop the spinning. Good luck browsing!
2. Gothic Google
Bring out the Goth in you! This version of Google comes complete with a black web page, a dark quote by Nietzsche, links to more quotes, and an animated, flaming logo in the Gothic style!
Most people never look past the 1st page of the Google search results. This alternate version of Google disrupts the status quo, and returns you all the results in a randomized order. The idea is that, in the unlikely event that the website that you are looking for is buried deep within the pages of search, Schmoogle has a chance of digging that up. As the creator claims, “all search results were created equal.”
Back in the 1960s, when Google and all of these parodies didn’t exist, snail mail was the most reliable way to search. A postcard dating from that era shows how our pre-Internet ancestors got what they needed to know, when they wanted to know: