The Google Search for Google

Today I thought I’d do a really random search, so I searched for google on The question: Will Google rank #1 for a search for google? Or if they do rank themselves #1, why would they do that? If someone is already on and they search for google, would they even click on the search result for It would make no sense. Confused yet? It only gets worse from here. And here are the results:

search results for google on
search results for google on

Well, there you go. Wait a minute!! WTF? What’s that? Oh, it’s the ‘philanthropic arm’ of Google. Why would they do that? According to a linkdomain: query on, has about a jillion links (actually ~1.19B links) and only has about 270k links. From what I’ve heard about Google’s ranking algorithm, the key to ranking is the quantity and quality of backlinks and anchor text. However, does have a lot more content. Maybe that is the key element driving the top ranking. But seriously, what’s going on here? How does pull a #1 ranking? That’s like me showing up to SkyBar with Megan Fox (btw, she just separated from that dude from 90210). I mean, I’m a nice guy and all, and I’m kinda philanthropic. Plus I once rescued orphaned nuns from a burning cathedral, but that’s Megan Fox. She’s like the #1 ranking these days. [And what about the fact that is advertising as the only result in the paid search ads? Is that logical? I guess it’s about as logical as searching for the term google on]

Obviously, something is going on here. Most likely it has to do with the fact that if you’re on and you’re searching for Google, you probably don’t want to see as the #1 result. Google recognizes this. They know you’re probably looking for something else besides I think its for this reason that Google has purposefully placed in the top spot. After all, according to Google’s Keyword Tool, only got ~40,500 searches in January. got ~13.6M searches, and the term google got ~83.1M searches. It stands to reason that needs some help with exposure, and Google probably wants to get more exposure for the philanthropic arm of their company. Aw shucks. How nice?

It appears Google likes to help out the tired, the hungry and the otherwise unable-to-rank-for-themselves type of sites. But is that philanthropy extended outside the family? Let’s find out. How about a search for the term search engine:

google search results for search engine
google search results for search engine

Okay. Now I’m going to throw up. Seriously? That’s a little too obvious because is a site that let’s you search for anything, and then it piles (get it?) all the results from G, Y, MSN/Live and Ask into one results page. [Once again, it’s very odd to go to and then search for the term search engine, but it doesn’t change the fact that these results are not necessarily up to par with Google’s reputation for providing the most relevant search results for a given query.] I guess Dogpile is a reasonable #1 result, but the strange thing is that this site is not the most well-known search engine. Google is. The word google is used as a verb in our vernacular these days for heaven’s sake! Furthermore, according to Alexa, is the #1 trafficed site in the world. Dogpile is #1,825. Typically, Google gets this kind of stuff right.

According to the Google Keyword Tool, the term search engine actually gets some searches:

Google Keyword Tool: search engine
Google Keyword Tool: search engine

See that? Google reports that the term search engine had over 2.4 million searches in January 2009. If I had an awesome anchor text analyzer, I’d totally compare the anchor text in links to vs. the anchor text in links to I bet that 99% of links to have Google as the anchor text., on the other hand, might actually have more links with the term search engine as the anchor text. I can’t imagine that would be the case, but it’s certainly a possibility. It also occurs to me that Google shouldn’t even rank itself for this search. Why would a user click on the result when they are already on Google. It really doesn’t make any sense. Kind of like this post. It’s filler. And I’ve dragged it out as long as I possibly can. Now I’m kind of hoping no one even sees this one.

Update: I just did another search for google, and after refreshing the search a couple of times, I saw some shifting in the organic results.,, Google Reader, etc… – they were all changing places. WTF? I’m still confused. It’s pretty clear that this search result does not play by the typical algorithm rules. Me thinks Google has its hands in the search for google.

Ever Wonder About Internet Traffic in Japan?

I always hear about China driving the most search traffic in Asia. And I always hear about China being a very coveted market for internet advertising. Well, good for you, China. So glad you are kicking so much ass over there. I’m glad that you have 253 million web users. Does anyone even know which country comes in second place in internet usage in Asia? Well, if the title of this post gives away anything, it is the answer to that question. Japan! Yes, Japan has 94 million internet users. That data is from this site, so hopefully it’s accurate. At any rate, I have an empathetic gene that apparently makes me stick up for the guy finishing in second place. With this post, I just want to make sure more attention gets paid to internet usage in Japan. So here I go. Before I get started, let’s make sure you know that Yahoo! is not the same as Yahoo! Japan. Yahoo Japan is a separate company altogether, but it’s nearly worth as much as Yahoo. In fact, US-based Yahoo! owns 34% of Yahoo! Japan.

Uh. Where to start? How about we look at visitor data for Yahoo Japan and Google Japan. Together, these two engines drive 72 million unique japanese visitors per month (Yahoo Japan has 46 million, Google Japan has 26 million). In graph form, it looks like this:

Monthly Japanase Unique Visitors for and
Monthly Japanase Unique Visitors for and

Holy crap! Do you see that? Who would have thought that Yahoo Japan destroys Google Japan for monthly unique Japanese visitors? Not me. If you happened to be debating this topic at your local pub the other night, I’m glad I can help settle the debate. Yahoo Japan clearly wins. And it doesn’t stop there. In terms of monthly pageviews, Yahoo Japan has 21.9 billion, while Google Japan only has 2.2 billion. Yahoo Japan wins again! (Yes, I admit that graph doesn’t make much sense because it’s talking about percentages. But I like graphs where one part looks like it’s eating the other part!)

Now let’s look at Alexa Japan’s rankings for the top 3 sites in Japan:

Alexa Japan: Top Sites in Japan (Feb. 2009)
Alexa Japan: Top Sites in Japan (Feb. 2009)

Holy crap! It looks like is the #1 site Japan. How about that? Where you at Google Japan? While I did say that I like to stick up for #2, I would rather not stick up for Google in this post. Google rules everything, everywhere else around the world pretty much. I’m going to let Yahoo Japan enjoy this victory. They deserve it. Ah, but I am empathetic, so I should point out that Alexa Japan has at #4 and at #8. That’s right. Google has 3 sites in the Alexa Top 10 in Japan. They may not be #1 in the market, but they definitely have enough representation in the Top 10.

Well, that’s all I’ve got today. Just a cool look under the hood of the battle for internet exposure in Japan. But before I go, here are some stats I found for Yahoo! and Yahoo! Japan for 2007:

  • Yahoo Japan’s worth is about $22B in Tokyo Stock Exchange (Yahoo worth about $27B)
  • Yahoo Japan’s sales hit $2.4B (Yahoo’s sales hit about $7B in the US)
  • Yahoo Japan’s net income for 2007 was $570M (Yahoo was about $660M)
  • Yahoo US has about 138M monthly unique visitors (Google US has about 133M)

For those of you wondering where I got all this information…uh…I found it on the internet somewhere. From different places and stuff.

Google Going Pac-Man on All Other Search Engines

I saw this data the other day, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Google is going Pac-Man on those other search engines
Google is going Pac-Man on those other search engines

You remember Pac-Man, don’t you? He would bust out of this prison-like cell and then start eating up everything in site. It brings back memories just thinking about it. And Ms. Pac-Man? Yeah, she was smoking hot. But I digress…

Clearly Google is morphing into Pac-man. Google continues to eat up the competition in the U.S. Keep in mind that in most other countries, especially in Europe, Google is driving >90% of all search traffic. Together, Google+Yahoo+MSN account for 96% of all search traffic in the U.S. You e-commerce marketing directors better make sure you’ve got your sites listed in those search engines. However, you should pay extra close attention to Google. If you’re not ranking in the top 3 pages for your important keywords, you need to make that a top priority, or soon your business might go tits-up like Circuit City (not that they had trouble ranking for stuff, but you know what I mean). Also, you should not forget about Yahoo. I’ve got friends who work with the Yahoo paid inclusion program, and I know that program is the most reliable way to break into the top 10 results on Yahoo. It’s like having paid ads appear in the organic listings. And you can track all of it! Yahoo’s 18% market share is nothing to sneeze at, so make sure you have a paid inclusion feed running on Yahoo.

In the spirit of video games, I’d like to continue this post, though I know it should have just ended. With Google turning into Pac-Man in pie graphs around the world, I thought it might be fun to give the competition some fun nicknames. Here are Pac-Man’s original enemies from the arcade game:

Pac-Man's Enemies from the original 1980 Pac-Man arcade

Notice that there are 4 ghost characters: Shadow (aka Blinky), Speedy (aka Pinky), Bashful (aka Inky), and Pokey (aka Clyde). I kinda like these guys. I, too, would be pissed if some yellow freak was on my property eating all of my stuff. Google also has 4 competitors:

Character / Nickname
Yahoo / Can’t Follow 301 Redirects
MSN / Can’t do a link: command
Ask / 302 on the Homepage
Other / Excite Who?

I really don’t see any of the these guys closing the gap on Google. I know Obama is promising change, but I don’t think these percentages are going to start going the other way. I mean, Google is now a verb in our vernacular. Good luck to Yahoo and MSN in overcoming that obstacle.

Well that’s it for now. Until next time. Make like some trees and get outta here.