Spin-offs not ‘Googla,’ but close

By Rachel Nussbaum

Photo by Rachel Nussbaum.

Google is a hallmark of the Internet, with its iconic logo and familiar interface. But as “Prado” bags and “MiPhones” prove, icons don’t last long before inspiring imitations. In fact, it appears that Google has spawned many such knock-off sites recently, including independently-owned Givoogle.com, Blackle.com, Lmgtfy.com, Mysterygoogle.com and Googlegooglegooglegoogle.com.

Some of these pages are just Google with a twist; others add their own special touch to the searching process.

Givoogle.com and Blackle.com share altruistic goals. Givoogle, as the name implies, gives money to charity.

“Advertisers pay us for every 1000 people who see their banner ad below,” Givoogle’s explanation reads. “We donate that money to fight cancer.” Givoogle’s mantra is, “Search the web. Save the world.”

Along the same lines, Blackle.com is an “Energy Saving Search.” Again self-explanatory: the site is a black version of Google’s famous white screen. Purportedly, the black color uses less energy to display, thereby saving 1,637,149.022-watts, and counting.

Lmgtfy.com may be a perfect fit for someone less philanthropic. While instant messaging or emailing, it’s not uncommon for people to ask questions, the answers to which they could easily Google themselves. That’s where Lmgtfy.com comes in. It gives a mocking lesson on exactly how to use Google, in addition to providing the answer to the asker’s query. Nasty, yet effective.

Lmgtfy.com could be taken the wrong way, the risk any online sarcasm runs. The same could probably not be said for Mysterygoogle.com, an obviously humorous site.

Mysterygoogle.com is more of a time-wasting entertainment site than a search tool, as it gives the results for the previous query entered on the site, rather than your own.

But that’s all part of the fun. After all, when a site scoffs at searches and instructs them to “Type in something interesting,” it’s probably not geared toward any productive research.

Mysterygoogle.com is not without its benefits, though. Internet-goers appear to be making the most of the anonymously passed on messages, typing in instructions or phone numbers and leaving them up to fate to circulate.

And then there’s the most powerful of all Google spin-offs, Googlegooglegooglegoogle.com, which opens four windows in a single tab. Some might liken it to the mystical Kraken of the sea, enveloping the Internet in its many tentacles.

Words should not be wasted explaining this spectacle. Go find out for yourself. Or should I Google it for you?