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Google letters

What do you get if you Google every letter of the alphabet?

Google letters

What do you get if you Google every letter of the alphabet?

We’ve looked before at what Google’s autosuggestions are for each letter of the alphabet, but what if you’re even lazier than that? What if you just want to type the first letter of what you’re looking for, press return and click on the first result that comes up?

In some cases, the results are not too interesting – for example, a search for A, G, J, L, O, S, U, X and Z will just bring up the Wikipedia page for each of these letters. Some companies and projects have taken advantage of having a one-letter name, like entertainment website E, newspaper i, popular 2D puzzle game N and music magazine Q.

What’s incredible though is that some websites are so massive, all you have to do is search for the first letter of their name and Google will assume that they’re what you’re looking for. Take a bow Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

You might think that Google itself would want to make itself the top result for the letter G. After all, plenty of people Google ‘Google’. The below Google Trends graph shows that it was a growing phenomenon up until late 2013, although it has plateaued in the years since.

Google Trends

The search engine itself is nowhere to be seen on the first page of G results though, with the Wikipedia page for the letter being top and two 4chan pages following it. Google’s email service Gmail comes in fourth.

Perhaps the ultimate goal of all goals in search engine optimisation is to be so heavily associated with one letter that all internet users need to do is Google that one letter to find you. You might expect that of Apple and the letter I given the company’s range of iPhones, iPods, iPads etc., but the company actually doesn’t feature at all for the letter. It can perhaps take comfort, however, from the fact that a search for 7 immediately brings up the page for the iPhone 7, and single-digit top rankings are also enjoyed by mobile phone service provider 3.

One group of people who have certainly hit the jackpot are those who have managed to bag a single-letter Twitter handle. These include Russian/American coder and photographer Andrei Zmievski, whose @a handle is Google’s second result for the letter and has no doubt helped him to exceed 150,000 followers. Oddly, @b, which appears to be owned by an anonymous cat wearing sunglasses, has only 67 followers and seems a terrible waste. It’s still fifth in Google’s rankings for the letter though.

Looking at most of the single-letter hashtags, most of their owners got in there early and have had an account since the site’s infancy in 2006 and 2007. Perhaps the best way to make a one-letter name for yourself is to always keep on track of emerging forms of social media and set up an account at your earliest opportunity. After all, you never know what humble medium might become the next big thing!

John Murray

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