Google and Weapons of Mass Destruction
There has been a lot of press coverage and web chatter about the funny 'Google' joke about weapons of mass destruction which has gone - dread using words - viral via email in the UK over the last couple of days.
I think it has been a really interesting example of how Google has developed what I have heard described as a "brand halo" - the appearance of a halo in a work of art conferred divinity on the subject, the recommendation by Google confers authority on the recipient. But that transference also implies in the first case signing up to a belief system that is being reinforced by adorning saints with a halo, and in the latter case a belief system that credits Google with the good things you found on the web.
If you received the link via mail or read the news articles it seems the public perception is that Google have done something funny with their "I'm feeling lucky" button. The fact is they are ranking that site #1 for that search term, and the "I'm feeling lucky" button is doing exactly what it always does. And they are not the only search engine ranking www.coxar.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk #1 for that phrase, and the site has been around a for a while. But that has become inconsequential. The story is about Google.
I finally have a real world example of the user who said in our comparative search engine testing that "I booked my holiday through Google".