Is Google a search engine? Honest answer: Dunno. Google might be a search engine. It could be a fridge, too. Or a yet undiscovered dinosaur, a scary purple man-eater, a prescription drug, or my mom’s worst nightmare.
According to the search engine pre-installed in my browser, “Dogpile” is a search engine, and “Bing”, “Altavista”, even “Wikipedia”. Also a tool called “Google Custom Search” and a popular blog titled “Search Engine Land” are considered search engines, besides obscure Web sites like “Ask”, “DuckDuckGo”, “MetaCrawler” and “Yahoo”. Sorry, I can’t work with these suggestions.
So probably I need to perform a localized search to get an answer:
0.19 seconds later my browser’s search facility delivers the desired answer, instantly in near lightning speed. The first result for [Is Google a search engine based in Mountain View, CA] lists an entity outing itself as “Google Mountain View”, the second result is “Googleplex”.
Wait … that doesn’t really answer my question. First, the search result page says “near Mountain View”, but I’ve asked for a search engine “in Mountain View”. Second, it doesn’t tell whether Google, or Googleplex for that matter, is a search engine or a Swiss army knife. Third, a suitable answer would be either “yes” or “no”, but certainly not “maybe something that matches a term or two found in your search query could be relevant, hence I throw enough gibberish –like 65635 bytes of bloated HTML/JS code and a map– your way to keep you quiet for a while”.
But I don’t give up that easily. The office next door belongs to a detective agency. The detective in charge is willing to provide a little neighborly help, so I send him over to Mountain View to investigate that dubious “Googleplex”. The guy appears to be smart, so maybe he can reveal whether this location hosts a search engine or not.
Indeed, he’s kinda genius. He managed to interview a GoogleGuy working in building 43, who tells that #1 rankings for [search engine] can’t be guaranteed, but #1 rankings for long tail phrases like [Google is a search engine based in Mountain View, California, USA] can be achived by nearly everyone. My private eye taped the conversation with a hidden camera and submitted it to America’s Funniest Home Videos:
One question remains: Why can’t a guy that knowledgable make it happen that his employer appears as first search result for, well, [search engine], or at least [search engine based in Mountain View, California]?? Go figure …
Sorry Matt, couldn’t resist.
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