Google Instant Redefines Your ABCs

A is for AOL. B is for Bank of America. C is for Craigslist. Say what? Presenting the default search results of New Google — in rhyming couplets.

Google Instant Redefines Your ABCs


Google Instant is a new default version of the world’s top search engine, a shocking change for those of us who depended on the original. Now, without having to hit the “Search” button, users’ queries are answered in “streaming” fashion, meaning with every letter typed–even just the first one–results are shown.

This means that no matter what you type, you’re going to get search results for one of 26 letter-based keywords first. Start typing with A, for example, and most users will see (even for a split second) results for AOL. (Other users will see “Amazon” first — the results depend a lot on your search history and your location.)

In essence, Google has just annointed the new kings of the alphabet — and 24 of the 26 are brands. All that’s missing from these ABCs of the Internet age are the nursery rhymes. So, with apologies to teachers, children, and lovers of poetry, here they are.



A is for AOL. How great must they feel? Good thing they renewed their Google search deal.


B is for B of A, America’s Bank. America’s bailout kept ’em out of the tank.

C is for Craigslist, where sex ads are banned. For Google Safe Search, it’s appropriately bland.

D is for Dictionary, full of words that are naughty. But type ’em on Instant, and Google gets haughty.


E is for Ebay, the online yard sale. Where else could I find Justin Bieber’s toenails?

F is for Facebook, the best venue for stalking. Hey, weird high school friends! I’m glad we’re still talking!

G is for Gmail. And Google (that’s obvious). They rule most of the Web, and some D.C. lobbyists.


H is for Hotmail. What the hell’s that? Microsoft is for suckers. Try our service: Gchat!

I is for Ikea. It’s cheap, white, and artful. I sit on my Poäng and Google the Fartfull.

J is for Jet Blue, your friend in the skies. For this search to work, take two beers and one slide.


K is for Kmart. Blue light on Aisle 4! But they don’t have Martha to sell any more.


L is for Lowe’s. Where DIY rules. Can it boost sales some more, with Google search tools?


M is for MapQuest, where user numbers are sagging. Google Maps would go first, but that would be bragging.

N is for Netflix. Content partner-to-be, when it launches as part of Google TV.

O gets you Orbitz. Might have guessed that it would.
They use Google’s Street View to map neighborhoods.


P is for Pandora, where you rock out to Bieber. When Google Music arrives, they’ll get lost in the ether.

Q is for quotes like Steve Ballmer’s regards:
“Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.”

R is for realtor. Google Earth is their king. Its layers of info reveal everything.


S is for Staples
, but never for sex. Safe search is default, so porn it rejects.

T is for Target, where Googlers buy jeans. It’s full of designers, but Walmart’s more green.

U is for UPS, in their trucks of brown. If they had Street View cameras, Google’d map every town!


V is for Verizon. Forget AT&T. Google’s friend could soon end net neutrality.

W is for weather, just one click away. Check the Googleplex forecast — raining cash today!

X is for Xbox. Its games gain much mention. Like Halo, and Fable, and Red Dead Redemption.


Y is for Youtube: Double rainbows! And Gaga! And David’s dental visit that makes us go “ha-ha!”

Z is for Zillow. Find a new home for cheap! Then spy on your neighbors, like a stalker or creep.


With additional rhyming by Chris Taylor, Alissa Walker, Dan Nosowitz, and Tyler Gray.

About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.