Concerned about the influence Google‘s PageRank algorithm has in determining what information people see? Think that ranking pages by how many people link to them isn’t objective so much as automated mob rule? Want a search engine for people who don’t want to just follow the herd, or just want to see the dominant paradigm get a little more subverted?

If so, then you’ll be interested in Shmoogle, the Google-randomizer developed by Tsila Hassine. Shmoogle forwards your query on to Google and then randomizes the results, presenting them in the same no-nonsense interface you’d expect from Google along with the original rank of each result. Shmoogle is more of an art project than a practical alternative to Google, designed to encourage us to question whether “everyone else thinks this is good, so you should too” is really the best assumption upon which to base the library of first resort. Random order is at least diversifying, but to me it seems so arbitrary — and has me thinking of all sorts of alternatives:

  • Dictoogle: rank sites in the order the elite think you should see.
  • Diversoogle: give higher rank to those that have the fewest incoming links, in an effort to increase diversity and raise up websites less fortunate than the more popular ones.
  • Novegle: give higher rank to sites that you’ve never seen before, in the interest of keeping up with the now. (I was sure I found it using this query just yesterday!)
  • Capitoogle: give higher rank to those who pay for it (we’ve got this one already).
  • Confugle: Instead of giving results directly related to your search, give results that are only metaphorically related. Include a Wiki for users to write their best guess as to why a page was included. (Actually, this one is probably already commonplace as well…)
  • Voyeugle: See the results from the previous person’s query instead of your own.

If you can think of more variations feel free to comment…