Twelve Bizarro Googles

Happy 10th, Google! Here are a dozen truly weird offshoots you've inspired.

By  |  Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 1:05 am

When Google got going as a company–ten years ago this Sunday, by one method of accounting–it was an obscure latecomer in a market dominated by killer engines such as AltaVista and WebCrawler. It wasn’t all that long before it became an international obsession. And then it began inspiring what I like to think of as Bizarro Googles: Oddball alternate-universe parodies that, for the most part, actually function as search engines…usually providing real Google results, or subsets thereof.

Google has apparently been known to make trouble for Bizarro Googles when it feels that its trademark is being abused. But it is, among many other things, a company with a whimsical sense of corporate humor, and for the most part it seems content to let Bizarro Googles live in peace–and it’s even created some of its own.

So here, in humble tribute to a decade of Google, are my twelve favorite Bizarro Googles. Every one of them is ultimately a compliment to the world’s biggest search engine. After all, I don’t recall anyone caring enough to create Bizarro AltaVistas or Bizarro WebCrawlers-or, for that matter, any Bizarro AOLs, MSNs, or Yahoos…

Spam, Spam, Spam, and Only Spam
One of the things that makes Google Google is that it’s pretty adept at giving you results that aren’t brimming over with spammy Web pages. But that does open up an opportunity for Spam Google, a site by Google Blogoscoped author Philipp Lenssen with results that include nothing but spam-laden stuff. Don’t forget to click on the ad links that come along with your results–they’re part of the cheesy fun.

Google on the Dark Side
In 2007, a blogger said that an all-black Web page uses fewer watts of energy than an all-white one, and theorized that an all-black Google homepage could save massive megawatts. Australia’s Heap Media was moved to create Blackle, which provides Google search results as white text on a black background. The Blackle homepage claims that 808,923.798 watt hours have been saved saved by the site so far. After using the site and reading its About page, I’m still not sure if it’s an earnest attempt to be green or a sly practical joke. Either way, I admire it.

sdrawkcaB ynlO ,eglooG
.siht ekil rpyt ot drah yllaer st’i–ssendoog knaht, yrotanalpxe-fles ytterp si eno sihT

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Relyt Says:

    Love it! Instead of “Your Own Private Google” (Googlogo) I use a site called whuch does the same thing without ads. Also under “Don’t Just Search, Hunt!” There is no link to the site.

  2. Otis B. Driftwood Says:

    It is a better world than I realized.