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Googlewhacking is the art (science?) of finding a two-word search term that yields one, and only one, search result from Google's Search Engine. It's not that easy! To complicate the issue, there are rules for true Googlewhacking:
  1. You can't use quote marks around your search terms.
  2. Both terms ("Googlefactors") must be in Google's dictionary, which means they will be underlined in the blue bar atop your Google results.
  3. Google shows you an excerpt of the page you whacked. Look at that text. If it's merely a list of words (such as a bibliography, concordance, encyclopedia, glossary, thesaurus, or dictionary), it doesn't count.

Here is my first Googlewhack: (Please note: with publication here, it's no longer a Googlewhack as this was its second appearance. Now, several years after we first put it up, we have it on good authority (Google, who else?) that this now appears 46 times! Fame is so fleeting.....)

Succotash Galvanometer

Googlewhacking Links

There's lots more -- just go to Google and enter the search term 'Googlewhack' or 'Googlewhacking' for the cook's tour!


Book Review: Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure

by Jim Pearce, Pegasus Technologies, Inc.
Dave Gorman has a problem. He has been given a large advance by a publisher to write a novel and just cannot find it within himself to put pen to paper. Instead he becomes engrossed in extreme googlewhacking. Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure, published by Overlook Press on September 15, 2004, is the very personal and occasionally hilarious chronicle of his dilemma.

For those who are in the dark about googlewhacking, here is an explanation.

Google is the premier web search tool. It indexes billions of web pages and gives nearly instantaneous result when querying a word. It has become so indispensable to us webaddicts that searching using Google has become a verb: to google.

Often, googling any given word will turn up millions of pages that contain that word. Even unusual words will result in multiple thousands of hits. For example, I googled "kumquats" and found 76,900 pages, and "pentode" yielded 38,200. A googlewhack occurs when you find a combination of two words that only exist on one page in all of googledom. These two words must be English words (for English googlewhacking) that appear in There is just a single Google indexed page that contains both the words 'Kumquat' and 'Pentode.' This page isn't a list of random or ordered words, just a nice readable page with text on it, so it fully qualifies as a googlewhack.

For more information and a fuller explanation of the rules of this strange game, see our Googlewhacking page.

But back to the book. Dave Gorman started googlewhacking to avoid thinking about his problems, and before he knew it he was deep into a challenge from another David Gorman (who he located by, of course, googleing his own name). He (Dave Gorman, NOT David Gorman) would form a chain of googlewhacks by meeting the authors of pages that contain the 'whacks and having them supply him with two 'whacks of their own. Dave would then go visit the authors of the new 'whacks and so on. This chain had to be ten steps deep and be completed by Dave's 32 birthday. This gave him just slightly more than two months and meant that he would get tons of frequent flyer miles!

Although he is an international award-winning comedian, I had never heard of Dave Gorman before the review copy of this book showed up in our mailbox. After reading the book, I now feel as though I am on very personal terms with him, for better or worse! He is brutally honest in describing his mood swings as the likely success of his quest wavers. The descriptions of the personalities of the 'whackers leaves me feeling like I know them too.

The book was a little slow to get into, but by the midpoint I knew enough about our intrepid English adventurer that I was genuinely anxious to know where the next set of 'whacks would take him.

Did he make it? Well, that would be giving it away, wouldn't it? I can just say that I now know that Dave is a stand-up comedian and is presently performing a live version of this book in an Off-Broadway production. How do I know this? I googled it, of course!

For more information or to purchase a copy of this bestseller in the U.K., go to one of the links below:

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