09 Feb Googletestad – How Did It Begin?
This has got to be one of the newest, juiciest mysteries so far this year – what is googletestad? In case you don’t know, googletestad is a search term that started appearing on most popular search keywords lists in mid 2005. Lots of people have speculated on just exactly what it means, and it has intrigued me no end! I’ve collected all the theories and laid them out for you right here.
1. Googletestad is some kind of software which gets you to the top of search engines.
This is a myth. There is no such software, wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was though? This myth started because unscrupulous people marketing Google monitor query software (software that tells web owners which position their sites are on in search engines) started spamming the search engines and integrating the word googletestad into their pages because they know it is a popular search term.
2. Googletestad was invented by a Search Engine Optimization company to show potential clients they can get to the top of search results using any word.
Once again this one is a myth. Any search engine optimization company worth their salt would merely show prospective clients their past and present results, not some strange word of value to nobody.
3. It’s all a prank
One theory is that a small group of people decided to take up the challenge to make a nonsense word, and have it come near the top of most searched for keywords in the search engines. They proceeded to do hundreds of thousands of searches for googletestad in all the major search engines. This made the term so popular that it started appearing on the most searched for lists, thus making it self-perpetuating as more and more curious people went to search for the same non-word. It’s possible, but would require hours of boring clicking, and who wants to do that? Pranks are meant to be fun!
4. Googletestad allows Google staff to check their AdWords program.
This one is the most likely. Google AdWords is an advertising system, where if you search for a term or phrase in Google, one or several relevant ads will appear to the right of the search results. However, if you type googletestad into the Google search engine, only one ad appears. It says:
This is a family safe ad.
All systems are go!
If you click on the link it takes you to a page about family safe web surfing.
Although on occasion I have seen other ads appear beneath this one, any other ads that may sneak in through the AdWords system using the googletestad keyword are quickly removed by Google. Google seems to want this keyword and resulting ad all to themselves, further adding weight to the theory that this non-word is for their own testing.
So, there you have it! Although Google has never said so officially, it seems this term is for their internal testing only. However, it does seem possible that they picked up the non-word to use for themselves!