I’m Feeling Lucky Explained: History & Interesting Facts

You could call me the “fun Google secrets Explorer” since I’m recently discovering Google tricks left and right! I found a super cool video from CMH Tech and just had to publish a post about it. It covers Google’s I’m feeling lucky search engine trick, technique, function or whatever you’d like to call it. I’ll be writing my own comments on the video underneath or if you’re feeling lazy just watch the video.

In 2010 the technology giant launched Google Instant which is better known today as Google’s search engine suggestion feature. What it basically does it suggest searches once you start typing in Google’s search bar. It’s a handy feature and without a doubt has made the search process much easier for users. Amazingly Google had an accurate estimated number of between 2-5 seconds that this new feature would save users. Collectively it meant over 11 million seconds of time saved per hour. That’s a lot.

However, how does this relate to “I’m feeling curious” or “I’m feeling lucky.” Let me explain.

Another feature was launched at around the same time called “I’m feeling lucky” which mainly features a similar functionality to Google Instant, but actually takes a user directly to the web page if clicked on. It’s a button that appears on the search engine homepage when you type in a search query. The button is simple and just has the words “I’m feeling lucky” written in it. Here’s what it looks like:

I’ve selected it in red.

I'm feeling lucky

As you can see it’s a basic button. When you start searching in Google and opt not to hit the traditional Enter button, but the I’m feeling curious button you would be taken to the top displaying the web page in an instant as compared to having a list of websites to choose from.

A former Google executive once reported that fewer than 1% of all big G’s search results went through IFL button, but wait till you hear how much it actually translates to. Some industry experts have calculated that Google might be losing more than $100 million per year just because of this quirky fun little feature.

If you don’t understand how they can lose money this way, let me explain. Basically, Google makes most of its revenues from Advertising within the search results. If the search results were bypassed and users went directly to a website, there would be no chance for them to earn money from advertising. Hence they can lose a ton of money and probably do because that’s what I’m feeling curious does.

According to the CMH Tech video, it is possible to enable and disable the Google Instant feature which has an effect on how the IFL button is displayed and also adds a few random features to it like “I’m feeling hungry” or my favorite “I’m feeling curious page.”

So now next time you search for something in big G and see that notorious little button, you might think twice before clicking since now you actually understand where it came from and how it really works.