Ever since Google launched its search engine nearly a decade ago, it has featured the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button alongside the main search button. Despite several alterations over the years, this button has remained in the same place.
Rather than seeing a list of search results as you would on a normal search, entering a query and pressing the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button will direct you straight to the most relevant webpage, which is normally the top result for that term on Google.
According to Google’s Sergey Brin:
“The reason it’s called “I’m Feeling Lucky,” is of course that’s a pretty damn ambitious goal. I mean to get the exact right one thing without even giving you a list of choices, and so you have to feel a little bit lucky if you’re going to try that with one go.”
Less than 1% of Google’s users choose to search with this button, so why does the company keep this button on its home page?
Google’s Marissa Meyer says it gives the company a less corporate image:
“You know Larry and Sergey had the view, and I certainly share it, that it’s possible just to become too dry, too corporate, too much about making money. And you know what I think is really delightful about Google and about the “I’m Feeling Lucky,” is that they remind you that the people here have personality and that they have interests and that there is real people.”
Online advertising expert Tom Chavez has done the maths, and he estimates that the 1% or less that use the button for their searches are costing Google around $110m annually through lost advertising revenue.
People who are “feeling lucky” never see such a page and therefore Google’s ads, as the button automatically directs them to a non-Google webpage.