What Does The I’m Feeling Lucky Button On Google Search Do?

feeling lucky
feeling lucky

I'm Feeling LuckyShort Bytes: The I’m Feeling Lucky button present on Google.com lets you dive into the world of ex-Doodles displayed by Google, but it was meant for a different purpose. Read further to find what the I’m feeling lucky button does.

Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button has been there since its early days when the Mountain View-based company was a small startup created by two Ph.D. grads. Most of us might have thought about what is the purpose of the button but never clicked it. The same applies to me.

The reason that I never felt the need is because the instant search feature starts displaying results in front of you as soon as you start typing in the search box, so you don’t realize there is another button present beside the Search. But a couple of months back, I thought to see what’s inside this differently titled I’m Feeling Lucky button. After clicking it, you’ll be taken to a webpage that hosts all the different Google Doodles which appear on the search engine’s homepage.

The button seems to have found its origin in Google’s belief that if you’re feeling like having a silver spoon in your mouth, then the search engine would take you to the best result in the first hit. So, earlier, when people used to click the I’m Feeling Lucky button after typing the search query, Google skipped the results page and directly jumped to the first link.

We can assume Google’s specially named button as an allusion to the 1971 movie Dirty Harry. In the action thriller, Harry Callahan utters the phrase “Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” flaunting the capabilities of his 0.44 Magnum after a gun fight. The question is a dare to the one doubting your capabilities. The phrase I’m Feeling Lucky depicts the confidence Google has on the intelligence of its search tool, that, it can come up with the most accurate result in the first attempt.

It does make a lucky day for most of the users – approx 1% of the searches made – but it is not so lucky for its creator. In 2007, an analyst named Tom Chavez showed in his study that Google loses a whopping 110 million dollars a year because of the I’m Feeling Lucky button as Google has to let go of the advertisements during the jump-over process. Obviously, the advertisers won’t pay a penny if Google wants to be a lucky charm for the users and doesn’t show their sponsored content. Google makes cash based on the number of ad-clicks made.

The functionality of the button was changed to displaying doodles instead of the best result in 2012. If you want to get an idea about how the I’m feeling lucky button works, all you need to do is turn off the instant feature. Here is how:

  1. Click Settings in the bottom right corner of the Google.com page.
  2. Click Search Settings.
  3. Click Never show instant results option under the Google Instant predictions heading.
  4. Click Ok at the bottom of the page and your lucky time starts.
  5. A dialog box will pop-up saying your settings have been saved, click Ok and the Google Search page will load.
  6. To get back instant predictions, all you need to do is repeat the process and click Always show instant results.

Now, type your search query and hit I’m Feeling Lucky button. If you hit that button with an empty search box you’ll be taken to the Doodle page whether the Google Instant is on or off. There are many Google search tricks which will allow you to do great things instead of wasting your valuable time in searching. For e.g. You can use the AROUND() operator to search two words separated by a distance in a writing.

Google never had plans to ditch the button. “It’s possible to become too dry, too corporate, too much about making money”, said Marissa Mayer when she was the VP of Google Product Search in the past. “I think what’s delightful about ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ is that it reminds you there are real people here”. Mayer currently serves as the CEO of Yahoo! Inc.

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