Philipp Lenssen uncovers Shmoogle, “the first non-deterministic search engine” that presents Google results in random order. From its creator, Tsila Hassine:
What is Shmoogle? Shmoogle is a Google randomiser. When you type your query into Shmoogle, you get Google’s results but…. in random order!
This tool touches upon several crucial issues on the web such as Search Engine Optimization. Shmoogle instantly neutralizes Page rank and the whole SEO industry induced by it.
Yet it addresses other fundamental issues such as retrievability vs. visibility. While all pages on the net are equally retrievable, they are certainly not equally visible. Every page is accessible by directly typing its URL, independent of Google, but how visible is it? how often does this page appear among Google’s first results?
Shmoogle breaks this strict hierarchy, and by doing this it promotes the diversity of the web. Since every result has the same chance of being on Shmoogle’s first page, results of a more common nature have a bigger chance of appearing first. This is actually polling the web for its view on the query. Shmoogle sacrifices Google’s accuracy for a web democracy, and gives common web authors an equal chance of exposure.
You might want to try it out with some examples, let’ take “art” for example. Google’s first page consists of the Metropolitan museum, The National Gallery, MoMA, and some art portals on the web (not much of a surprise). On shmoogle, a (possible) first page features sites entitled ” we make money not art”, “Olga’s gallery”, and “Art Passions”, among others – did you know these sites exist?
This diversity and the uncertainty factor (it is in fact the first non-deterministic search engine) add a feeling of freedom, excitement, and playfulness. Enjoy!