The I Feel Lucky button on the Google keyword search page has been there forever. Many have questioned its utility given that even Google acknowledges few people click on it. Perhaps it’s nostalgia on the part of the two founders. Perhaps it’s a subtle marketing ploy to encourage the notion that Google always gets it right. It does seem somewhat of an enigma.
Brendan Newnam decided to find out why it still hangs around. One interesting finding in his article comes from Tom Chavez, the head of Rapt, a company that helps determine what advertising real estate on a Web page is worth. He did the math on how much the 1% of people who use the button are costing the company. Google makes a lot of its money by selling ads on its search results page. People who are “feeling lucky” never see such a page and therefore Google’s ads. The “I’m Feeling Lucky” button automatically directs them to a non-Google web page. He estimates that Google loses $110 million of revenue per year by leaving the button for this 1% of visitors.
That’s a huge loss for a button that no one seems able to defend.
Related: I’m Feeling Lucky – Thanks, Google