Search engines work best when they have specific phrases to search for, or better yet, when they have parameters for when the Web page was posted. But if you get more abstract, going to single words or even letters, they typically don't know where to start in terms of finding what you want. Taking a look at Google's first answers for the letters of the Roman alphabet, it's interesting to see what the search index is guessing as the best answers. Google gives its own Gmail the letter "g", cedes Apple the letter "i", and Craigslist the "s", while kindly passing on the "Y" to Yahoo!, effectively dividing the alphabet as cleanly as the many nations who have laid claim to a slice of Antarctica.
As of September 21, 2008:
- a = Links in HTML documents from www.w3.org.
b = Physical Review B from aps.org.
c = C (programming language from wikipedia.org.
d = Physical Review D from aps.org.
e = E! Entertainment Online
f = Ford Motor Company Stock from Yahoo! Finance.
g = Gmail from Google.
h = Hydrogen from wikipedia.org.
i = Apple: iPod + iTunes from apple.com.
j = The Letter J from wikipedia.org.
k = The Letter K from wikipedia.org.
l = The LaTeX project from latex-project.org.
m = M (1931) from imdb.com.
n = Nitrogen from wikipedia.org.
o = Cirque du Soleil - O - Las Vegas from cirquedusoleil.com.
p = Phosphorus from wikipedia.org.
q = The Letter Q from wikipedia.org.
r = The R Project for Statistical Computing from r-project.org.
s = Craigslist.com.
t = Massachussetts Boston Transit Authority from mbta.com.
u = The Letter U from wikipedia.org.
v = V Magazine from vmagazine.com.
w = W. (2008) from imdb.com.
x = X.Org Wiki from x.org.
y = Yahoo.com.
z = The Letter Z from wikipedia.org.