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The Google Alphabet

I got a weird idea and started googling all the letters of the alphabet to see which pages had managed to SEO themselves into the top position. The results are quite interesting — well, to be honest, some are boring, but perhaps half are surprises — and you can see some trends: W3C specifications and Wikipedia entries for letters are common, if not on the top position then in the first page. Also Google has trouble with apostrophes, so the top hits for the letter s are all companies with names ending in ‘s. Jennifer Lopez is the only person who makes it to the list, but when I re-checked the results today (I did the initial searches yesterday) she had been bumped down to fifth place for the letter J. She’s still in my list because I kept all the data from the first run, and it would be a shame to remove the only person.

Read on for the complete list.

Note: the letter is a link to the search results, the name is a link to the page which was the first in the search results. I have abbreviated some of the titles.

A Links in HTML documents From the W3C HTML specification

B Physical Review B Academic paper

C C (programming language) – Wikipedia Wikipedia

D Physical Review D, Journal Academic paper

E E! Online TV-channel

F F-Secure.com Maker of a popular anti-virus software

G Welcome to Gmail Google’s own

H H and M The Swedish clothing company

I IFILM A bit surprising that it wasn’t iPod, iTunes or ICQ (iTunes is #3, ICQ is #5), but this YouTube competitor likely gets more inbound links.

J Jennifer Lopez The acress, and the only person on the list

K K Desktop Environment Linux desktop environment

L LaTeX project Typesetting software popular in academic circles

M M Info on the film, from IMDb. H and M (which took the first place for “H” is #5, not bad)

N The N TV Network

O O2 British telecom

P Paragraphs, Lines, and Phrases From the W3C HTML specification

Q Q4music.com Music magazine

R The R Project for Statistical Computing More academia, apparently also called “GNU S”, but didn’t show up on S.

S McDonald’s There’s a surprise, I guess that Google doesn’t understand that ‘s is part of the word, which is supported by the fact that most of the other hits also end in ‘s.

T MBTA.com Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, apparently commonly called the “T”

U The University of Arizona Followed by the universities of Alberta, Minnesota, Washington, Illinois and Pennsylvania

V V for Vendetta Promotion site for the film, the second place is taken by IMDb’s entry for the same film and number three is Star Wars: Episode V.

W W Hotels A hotel chain, George W. Bush is at place 3, 4 and 5.

X X.Org Foundation I had expected The X-Files, but I guess that was too long ago. Instead this Linux project takes lead, followed by XFree86 (another Linux project), Apple Mac OS X and Xbox — so all computers.

Y Yahoo! Mail No surprise that Yahoo! takes the Y, Yahoo! proper is second.

Z Z Communications Last but not least is the leftist culture magazine.

0 0 comments This link text is extremely common (not least on this blog), but strangely the link is broken.

1 Cascading Style Sheets, level 1 A W3C specification…

2 Cascading Style Sheets, Level 2 …followed by it’s successor.

3 Welcome to 3 Another telecom

4 Channel 4 A british TV-channel

5 Channel 5 Another british TV-channel — awfully imaginative names they’ve got.

6 Internet Explorer 7 A bit ironic

7 TV and TV Guide – Yahoo!7 Yahoo!’s australian branch’s TV-guide

8 SBA US Small Business Administration. The full title reads “SBA – 8(a) 8a 8A 8(A) Business Development”, it seems like they really, really want to make clear that they have something to do with 8(a), whatever that is (but having all the variations in the title seems to have payed out).

9 The 9 on Yahoo! Yahoo! TV.

Oh, well. That was another wasted hour.

4 Responses to “The Google Alphabet”

  1. troninster Says:

    Interesting! I found http://www.googolalphabets.com where you can buy letters. Do search results very differs from sites in http://www.googolalphabets.com ?

  2. Theo Says:

    Haven’t checked that out. But it it doesn’t really look like it’s related.

  3. davidj Says:

    Theo,

    I just finished putting up a real-time google alphabet at http://www.davidj.org/docs/google_alphabet.html and thought you might enjoy it.

    Thanks!

  4. Theo Says:

    Interesting, although slighly different.

    Using Google suggest instead of Google actual yields different results, my list is which sites are at the top of Google for searches using only one letter, your list is the top searches (and not top hits, right?) beginning with a letter. Nothing wrong in that, just slighly different.

    The real time update is nice too.

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