The Effects of September 11 on the Leading Search Engine

First Monday have posted an article about how Google responded to the September 11th attacks.

It begins with a quick history lesson of Google - how it avoided the portal-itis affecting other search engines to become the most useful resource on the web.

Interestingly, there was a huge spike in searches for "cnn" (replacing "sex") in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. Does this mean that many people don’t realise the difference between the browser address bar and the search field on a web page? Perhaps, but perhaps not…

When the Google front page loads, the focus is immediately given to the search field. If you type "cnn", then tab twice to the "I’m feeling lucky" button, you will arrive at cnn.com. All in all, this is *quicker* than clicking on the address bar to focus it and typing in "http://www.cnn.com" or "www.cnn.com" or even "cnn.com".

If Google is your default homepage, this could be a reasonable way of going straight to a site. If you’re a nimble-fingered typist, this is probably even quicker than scrolling through your bookmarks.

Have you published a response to this? :