Have you ever searched the Internet for help when sound didn’t work in your brand new laptop you just bought? Have you ever tried to google for advice when your car didn’t start? Or have you ever asked one of the top 10 “what is” questions? Statistics say, you probably have. And so, have you then crashed over the answer “Just google it, dude!”? Well, at least I did. Too many times.
I use search engines a lot. And I mean it. Mainly Google. You too, I guess. Everybody does. Statistics of search queries for 2012 show that Google enjoyed more than 70% share of web search volume worldwide. It varies from region to region (in China no.1 for example is Baidu) but for what we called “Western” countries Google is the leader.
The aforementioned search engine uses a very sophisticated engine (algorithm) called PageRank developed at Stanford University by future founders of Google Inc., Larry Page (hence the name - contrary to popular belief it’s name is not related with the term web page) and Sergey Brin in 1996 as part of a research project about a new kind of search engine, primary named Backrub (can you imagine?!). The first paper about the project describing PageRank and the initial prototype of the Google search engine, was published in 1998. Since then, the algorithm has been changing constantly (even as you read this). The simple explanation of how it works is provided by Google itself. In short: the more incoming links (i,e other sites referring to it) and visitors a page has, the more “important” or “valuable” it is in the eyes of Google.
Now here’s the thing. Let’s say you have a problem, for example with your car and you are searching the web for a solution. Every time you find something valuable, you click it and therefore give a positive feedback to Google that you found the result worthy (OK, in reality it’s not that simple). And what you find? A forum with a topic you need: changing headlights in your Honda Civic. Excellent! Now you can see the answers of other users, so eager to help… Wait, what? “You moron, use google, it’s already there”. “Use google before you ask stupid questions”. “The questions was already answered, use search to find it”. That’s what you come across in your research. Using Google.
Problem is when they’re the only results that you find. And it happened to me several times. Answering the same question for the zillion time can be daunting for Internet user, however the best for the searcher. Griping about it but answering is fair enough. Not answering isn’t a bad thing. Replying “use Google” - yes sir, yes it is bad, very.
I bumped into such behaviour so many times I’m really sick and tired of it. And amazed. People are actually taking their own time and effort to post a reply that’s ultimately useless. And because the topic is “hot” and many people type for it in Google, it’s constantly popping in the top results. There were times I literally wasn’t able to find any other answers than “use google” for a long time. More to that, users were so devoted to the “You’d better find it yourself” crusade, they even posted links to alleged “answers” using services like Let me google that for you or Just f***g google it - all in time long enough to provide proper answer. Just unbelievable. Of course, with proper commitment and time invested I’ve finally found it. But it could have been a waaay easier if only people had taken this simple advice:
If you want to answer “just google it”, just don’t answer it.