Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What website defines the letter?

Using the set-up as described above (Google UK, Instant Search, signed out from Google account), typing a single letter, what is first on the top of the list of automatically generated websites?

It turns out to be ...
Shop Argos
Broadcaster BBC
Shop Currys
Shop Debenhams
Web service ebay
Web service facebook
Web service google maps
Web service hotmail
Shop ikea
Shop john lewis
Airline klm
Um, broadcaster tie-in? lotto
Web service msn
Shop next
Telecomms o2
Shop pc world
Web service quidco
Web service rightmove
Web service skype
Shop tesco
Web service utube [sic]
Telecomms vodafone
Broadcaster/web service BBC Weather - with Google's guess at local weather first
Broadcaster tie-in x factor
Web service youtube
Shop zara

The labels are assigned in relation to the origins of the website - whilst all the shops listed evidently have a substantial internet presence, they were established as "real world" shops, rather than e-tailers. There are nine such shops, and a further seven websites which are based on "real world" activity, and just nine which are fundamentally web-based activity. Boundaries are blurred, of course - the presence of shops on this list shows a significant internet presence, whilst entities like ebay and Skype have acquired significance on the Internet by changing the way things are done in the non-virtual sphere.

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