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Guess Who Turns Up As #1 In Google Search For "Stoned Chicks"

Guess Who Turns Up As #1 In Google Search For "Stoned Chicks"

by , 1:00 PM EDT, October 22nd, 2002

Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. For instance, do a search on Google for "Stoned Chicks," and you wouldn't think the number one result returned in that search would be an Apple Web page, yet there it is. TMO forum mod Jon Stanard noted that searching on Google for those two words pointed you to the Ellen Feiss Switch ad at Apple's Web site.


(Click the image to see a larger version)

We also noted that fourth result pointed to the good folks at Unsanity.org, the Mac OS X developers of a number of apps, who first noticed this, which seems to be where this phenomenon was first pointed out.

This begs the question of why this search points to Ms. Feiss' Switch ad at Apple's site. Some might find it fun to think that it's because Apple has hidden keywords of "stoned" or "chick" buried in the HTML, but that's not true. Go ahead and see for yourself if you don't believe us.

Others might think that Apple has some sort of secret agenda and arranged these results with Google. That's just silly.

The truth lies in the way Google works. Google is such a good search engine because of the way that it searches for links, indexes that information, and ranks its search results. The company doesn't rely so much on keywords, but rather on the way the rest of the Web links to itself. Google puts a lot of stock on how many links go to a particular Web page. A page with 300 links *to* it from other sites will rank much higher than a page with 4 links to it. Furthermore, Google looks at the wording *in* those links to get a clue as to what they are about. Looking at links to TMO, for instance:

  • Visit The Mac Observer
  • Head over to TMO. You'll get your Mac news there from now on.
  • Click here for Mac news (Note that we never use the dreaded phrase of "click here" for this or that. It's just tacky, but we needed to demonstrate.)

All of those links would be ranked differently by Google because of the words included in the link.

With everyone and their brother thinking that Ms. Feiss was stoned during the filming of her Switch commercial, especially with some aspects of the stoner community latching hold of the idea in an attempt to validate their own lifestyle, an extraordinary web of fan sites and links has grown up within the Web, with most of them pointing to her page at Apple's site for viewing her commercial. The results are demonstrated by the above mentioned search at Google.

The Mac Observer Spin:

The Ellen Feiss phenomenon has been an amazing, and somewhat peculiar one to watch. Her popularity took off immediately after her Switch ad was introduced. From people who found her cute, to people that think she was stoned during filming, to people that are just fascinated by her, all of the attention leveled on her has given her almost cult-like status on the Internet. If you are curious about this, do a Google search for Ellen Feiss.

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