Addicted to novelty since 2001

Idea du Jour: FirstFor.Org

While registering a few defensive domains (for example, darrenbarefoot.org) with Webnames, I registered FirstFor.org (there’s nothing there). It was on a whim. I imagined that I could make a site where people submitted the strange phrases for which they’re first in the Google results. For example, tree humping (I’m keeping good company, as Gill is second for that phrase).

I was talking about this to Will Pate, and he had a much better idea. Someone should build a site that uses the Google API to display all of the search terms and phrases for which you’re in the top ten. I imagine that the results could be ranked by number of results for that search, page rank, or positioning on the page (for example, “show me all the phrases I’m ranked first for”). For example (those numbers are position, page rank and total search results):

linen suitI Bought a Linen Suit Today (3, 4, 1,120,000)

CIBC VisaThe Asshats at CIBC Visa (3, 4, 111,000)
tree humpingHall of Technical Documentation Weirdness/Tree-Humping (1, 3, 92,000)
And so on…

Such a site may already exist. Regardless, the site’s design could be as simple as Google’s–just one box for entering a URL. The site has little practical use, but I’d bet people would really dig it.

If there’s any enterprising Web developers out there who want to build it (and if Google’s API permits this sort of magic), drop me an email.

7 Responses to “Idea du Jour: FirstFor.Org”

  1. gillian

    Gee, thanks for the announcement there. Now people are going to mistakenly think that you know more about tree humping than I do. Bah!

  2. Boris Mann

    I believe Will and I both talked about this. It’s basically impossible. Well, not impossible, but you basically have to check every phrase that appears on your site vs. the URLs and actually do the search on Google. Which, of course, fluctuates.

    I *think* this is very very hard to do.

  3. Darren

    Boris: Indeed. I imagine Google stores all the searches ever done, but doesn’t necessarily want to offer than valuable info up in its API. That, of course, wouldn’t give you everything you’re first for, but would at least show you everything you’re first for that was searched.

  4. Will Pate

    I’m no developer, so pardon me if I’m incorect, but wouldn’t it be quite possible for someone with the data like Google to do? They have a swarm of PHDs to cook up algorithms and logical ways to pull information out of their databases, all performed with unparalleled processing power. Sure it sounds crazy, but isn’t that somewhat true?

    Frankly, I bet their communications people would like a few more positive stories to counteract negative ones. If Google isn’t careful they could fill that place of “tech company people love to hate”. Microsoft seems to be finaly shaking it, but they wasted tons of missed opportunities before they started changing their corporate culture.

    There are several ways that Google could serve up that information. Hey Google engineers – pick one:

    – Add it as a toy to the Google Labs playground.
    – Open it up via their API and let the power of the community brain figure out cool things to do with it.
    – Add it as a feature to their newly acquired Urchin statistics service, which needs an affordable version in my humble opinion.

  5. Boris Mann

    Not saying it’s not useful informaiton, just wanted to point out that it’s difficult if not impossible to do externally — this *is* something that Google would have to come up with.

  6. gillian

    Yeah, I was thinking about it last night, and I’m with the Bryght guys, without Google-like resources we could only do it with Google’s help. The best bet in the meantime is to look at the referring pages to your blog hits and double-checking them for rank.

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