Do you know what will happen when you type a single letter, whether intentionally or accidentally into a Google search? According to the Google alphabet which shows the first result, you find (in English) for each letter.
One obvious question now is why does this happen?
This is made possible by Nathan Dintenfass, who happens to be a web developer and blogger. There was a time he once explains that on the 9th day of April, back in 2003 when I saw a random post on the Doc Searls blog, and he accidentally typed a letter “O” into Google search box and found the O’Reilly website.
As this happened, he started wondering what exactly will come up for every other letter of the alphabet. This discovery made him start playing around with the Google Web Services API.
So instead of me bookmarking Google Analytics, what I did was type a random letter via the Google toolbar, which I did for some reason, and then navigate to my Google account. For what I did, I just felt I should list out the top websites that Google returned for single-letter searches.
So the Google alphabet is the result.
These results are interesting, but not particularly meaningful. As you know, it’s difficult for search engines to understand the intent of a single-word query. This is because single letters give virtually no idea for a search engine to process.
So what kind of results turn up? Note that the latter “A” is Apple computer’s homepage. While “M” is the 3M’s home page. However, other letters will yield similar, relatively reasonable results.
After my experiment, my results were compared with other SEO consultants who did the same thing outside the UK some time ago.
We found out that there were results where Wikipedia came out first.
Here are single-letter searches: Wikipedia not 1st
- Latter B: B&Q Online: This is from Kitchens and Bathrooms to Sheds & Paving; additionally, www.diy.com (I guess it’s because when people link using B&Q, this & simply means that the B and the Q are seen as separate).
- Latter D: Introducing D Programming Language – this means Digital Mars www.digitalmars.com/d
- Latter E: The E means Entertainment News, Celebrity News, and Celebrity Gossip, www.eonline.com
- Latter G: This means Gmail: The email from Google www.mail.google.com
- Latter I: Means Apple – to download music and more on iTunes. You can play it all on your iPod. www.apple.com/itunes
Other single latter searches:
- Latter N: The N means free Action Game from Addicting Games! www.addictinggames.com/ngame.html
- Latter O: Means O2, which is the UK’s leading provider for mobile phones, Broadband & SIM www.o2.co.uk
- Latter P: Means P&O Ferries www.poferries.com This is another example where the & will mean that the P and O are treated as separate words.
- Latter Q: Means www.qthemusic.com
- Latter R: Means the R Project, which is for Statistical Computing www.r-project.org
More single latter searches:
- Latter T: Means Internet, Mobile Phones, Email and Mobile Broadband brand T-Mobile www.t-mobile.co.uk
- Latter U: Means Manchester United Official Website www.manutd.com
- Latter V: Means V-Festival www.vfestival.com
- Latter W: Means www.imdb.com/title/tt1175491
- Latter Y: Means Yahoo! Mail, which is one of the best web-based email providers www.mail.yahoo.com
Here are single letter searches where Wikipedia came out on the first result
Note that Wikipedia comes out top in X cases. Below is the text snippet for each of these:
- Latter A: This happens to be the first letter in the Latin alphabet, and its name in English is spelled a, but this is very rare.
- Latter C: The C means (programming language), which is a general-purpose computer programming language that was developed by Dennis Ritchie around 1972 at the Bell Telephone Laboratories meant for the Unix operating system.
- Latter F: Means Fahrenheit, which is the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales converge at 40 degrees
Other single latter searches are:
- Latter H: Means Hydrogen
- Latter J: The J means the tenth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet, which was the last added of the 26 letters.
- Latter K: The K means the eleventh letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.
- Latter L: The L means the twelfth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.
More single latter searches:
- Latter M: This means Metre. Remember, the symbol for the meter is M.
- Latter S: The S happens to be the nineteenth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.
- Latter X: Happen to be in Latin alphabet language which was adopted only recently.
- The Latin alphabet Z: This means another English dialectal form which is izzard
Here are some results from other countries
- A single-letter Google hits from Taint.org, came out Justin Mason’s weblog: Note he used google.com sometime in 2006, whenever there was no sign of Wikipedia. The J was meant for J-Lo, while L was meant for the Council of Europe and the S was for McDonald’s.
- Another A to Z Latter of Google results from www.Googlefan.com: This was done around January in Australia. The L was meant for the Latex Project (which is a document preparation system), while O was meant for the Cirque du Soleil, and the S was meant for Craigslist.
- The Google Alphabet from ChangeMedia: This is based in the US. One thing is that this site makes use of the Google API to return up-to-date results, however, it stopped back in March 2005. Note again that there’s no Wikipedia, and there was nothing to do with Apple. Latter W was for www.GeorgeWBush.com
- The Search Engine Alphabet however does something a bit different: The search engine shows the first result from Google’s auto-suggestion tool whenever someone types in a single letter. This means if I type the letter A, it will auto-suggest Amazon.
As you have seen, these are the single latter searches of A to Z of SEO. Like I said earlier, I just felt I should list out the top websites that Google returned for single-letter searches. But you can do your experiment and see what comes out.