This story was written by Keith Dawson for the Media Unspun email newsletter and is Copyright 2002 by Keith Dawson.

M E D I A   U N S P U N
Googlewhacking reconsidered
By Keith Dawson
01 Feb 2002


A word association quiz: if we say "Internet auctions" you say -- eBay, right? If we say "Internet search" you say -- Google. Right. The Silicon Valley search company has been all over the news lately, most recently for an addictive pastime called Googlewhacking.

The sport dates back at least to last August, but the practice was named, promoted, and brought to mainstream attention earlier this month by Internet columnist and gadfly Gary Stock. The idea is to find two words which, in combination, produce exactly one resulting hit when fed to Google.

Googlewhacking appeared on Memepool on Monday. SearchengineWatch.com picked it up Tuesday and so did CNET. Many of the outlets that weighed in later simply picked up one or the other of these early articles. Unspun could not confirm a reported sighting on National Public Radio, but has word that articles may appear soon in USA Today and Canada's Globe and Mail. At this writing a Google search for "googlewhack" returns 705 pages, and a forum that Stock set up for successful Googlewhackers to post their results has 1367 entries. The practice has already drawn the piquant attention of Satire Wire.

On the more serious side, within the last two weeks the Wall Street Journal, NewsFactor, and the Observer have run appreciative pieces about Google's ascent up the short list of dot-com winners. Google is one Web company for which advertising continues to bring in revenue. Today CNET's Stefanie Olsen wrote about the company's distancing itself from pop-up ads, even as other online services embrace the unloved and distracting ads for the revenue they promise.

Face it, we love Google for its simplicity. And if we whack it, it's all in fun. -- Keith Dawson

First invented last August by Steve White,

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