Google searches that give a single result

new made up wordI was intrigued to see that the erudite audience on Quora were discussing what Google searches would give a single result.

Phillip Remaker who describes himself as a Google user since the beta days had the right answer:

Ironically, the moment you post the words or phrase that form a single Google hit, that post becomes incorporated into searches and the single hit becomes many.

A form of the Heisenberg principle applies to one-result Google searches: The act of observing them destroys them.

However he prefaced that with the following:

This question is a superset of the sport called Googlewhacking.  If you go to that link, the last entry on that website seems to be the following:

2005-01-05 Please note: These whacks were compromised nearly three years ago! Constant changes to the web and to Google’s index eventually compromise nearly every Googlewhack.

These died a rapid death after reports by CNN, Reuters, BBC, and many other news sources. For fresh whacks, up-to-the-minute, see The Whack Stack. Enjoy!

If you follow the trail to the Whack Stack, you will find the following message:

You are looking for the Whack Stack, or a place to add your own Googlewhack.

Sorry… those options are no longer available.

However Googlewhacking is not completely dead as a phrase. If you search for this, you will find the following recent entry in the Guardian on September 15, 2015.

“In response to Simon Baker’s googling of ‘gesplürgeunked’ and getting just one hit (yesterday’s Fiver letters) I did the same thing and now there are two hits, the two most recent Fiver missives. A Googlewhack is a Google search for two words which returns just one hit. … ” – Brendan MacCarron.

As that conversation points out, if you look for a word and then write about the results of your search, Google will faithfully reproduce all the mentions it finds. That means that for almost any word Google will have several entries in its search results.

In addition Google tries to provide as much helpful knowledge as it can so that almost any search will produce a good deal of information. Finding a word that gives only a single result is therefore still a challenge.

My Googlewhack entry

I was intrigued at this whole topic because within the last two weeks I thought I had created a new word. However it was not completely new since when I searched there was only one entry in the search results.

the sock puppetIn a wedding speech I was to give, I thought I would repeat a shaggy dog story I and my brother had recounted at my daughter’s wedding. That story starts off as follows:

“One day me and my mate were walking along a street when we saw a building on fire…”

The problem here was that my brother would not be at this particular wedding. I decided that the best way to tell this story would be to use a sock puppet as a substitute. In introducing this at the wedding party, I decided to call this by the word you will see on the image above or in this image:

the new word

I am not repeating the word in text in this article since I do not wish to destroy its (Google) uniqueness.

Since I thought I had created a new word, I thought I would check it out on Google to see whether it was so. Much to my surprise at the time I did the search there was only one entry. This was a reference to an image created by a student at the Bowling Green State University.  His image was very similar to the sock puppet I in fact created.  Bing also produces a single reference for this word.

I would very much like to keep this word as an example of current Googlewhacking (or Bingwhacking if you prefer). If you choose to do any research on this I hope you will respect that by not repeating the word online in any form.

A really intriguing further question is whether this post will ever appear in a search for this new word.  The word only appears as part of the two images. This article was published at 19:20 hrs PDT on September 22, 2015.  Perhaps Google does determine any text content in an image and assigns its content to the indexed value of the web page.  Only time will tell.