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The Google Instant Alphabet

The Google Instant Alphabet

by Ben Cook on September 8, 2010

Google Instant Alphabet

Google made a big announcement today that they’re now using “instant” AJAX search results that change as you type your search query.

There’s all sorts of speculation about the fallout this move will cause, but one thing I thought was interesting is that you now see results starting with the first letter you type. While I’ve never given much thought about who ranked for “e” or “s” they’re probably going to be seen quite a bit now.

So who ranks #1 for which letters? I’m glad you asked. Here’s the alphabet & I’m seeing in the top spot for each letter.  I’m unable to use the instant search feature without being logged in to Google so I’m sure some of these are influenced by my search patterns & geographical location.

  • A – Amazon.com
  • B – BestBuy.com
  • C – Craigslist.com
  • D – Dictionary.com (dictionary.reference.com)
  • E – Ebay.com
  • F – Facebook.com
  • G – Gmail (mail.google.com)
  • H – Hotmail (live.com)
  • I – Imdb.com
  • J – JimmyJohns.com
  • K – KSDK.com (location influenced I am sure)
  • L – Lowes.com
  • M – Mapquest.com
  • N – Netflix.com
  • O – Orbitz.com
  • P – Pandora.com
  • Q – BrainyQuote
  • R – Realtor.com
  • S – Sears.com
  • T – Target.com
  • U – Ups.com
  • V – Verizon.com
  • W – Weather.com
  • X – Xbox.com
  • Y – Yahoo.com
  • Z – Z1077.com (another locally influenced ranking I’m sure)

So there you have it. The Google Instant Alphabet, at least the one I see. Are you seeing different Instant results for some letters? Feel free to share in the comments below!

image source: revbean

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

DazzlinDonna September 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm

This might be the best way to really see the effects of personalization. Here are the ones that were different for me:

D – Dillards (and no, I don’t shop there)
I – Iphone
J – Jefferson Parish (location nearby)
K – Kmart
M – Myspace
N – NOLA (location nearby)
O – Office Depot
Q – Quotes
R – Rouses (grocery store near here)
W – Walmart
Z – Zappos


Dennis Goedegebuure September 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Here are some of the results I see on #1

B – Bart.gov
D – DMV.ca.gov
I – apple.com/iphone
J – JetBlue.com
K – Kaiserpermanente.org
O – sfOutsideLands.com
R – Rei.com
S – Skype.com
U – USPS.com
Z – Zillow.com

I’m currently at the Googleplex Guest IP, in Mountain View.
Some of these results are really local, like Bart or DMV in San Francisco.
Others are probably personal related, like Skype and eBay!
Also, I tend to use KW iPod and iPad a lot as my regular searches for testing. So Apple is not a shocker here either!



Amy Teeple September 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Here are the ones that I get that differ from the original list:
B – Bank of America (not my bank)
D – California DMV
J – Jerome’s (San Diego furniture store – must be location)
K – Kaiser Permanent (not my health care provider)
M – Myspace (never go there)
R – REI (personal use influence)
S – SDG&E (San Diego Gas and Electric)
U – USPS.com (personal use influence)
Z – Zillow.com


GaryPaulson September 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm

So, I see some paid ads show up too when I hit just one letter. Are they buying just that letter? or the probable search results?


Ben Cook September 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

@Gary yes, I believe they’re paying for the predicted search results. However, the suggestion box covers up the paid ads at the top for me, which seems like a bad move for Google’s revenue. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them make the ads move down below the suggestion box in the near future.

@Jonathan, sorry, yes I probably should have worded this a bit differently. Amazon doesn’t rank #1 for the letter a if you do a traditional search, but they’re the first recommendation I and most other people are seeing.


Jonathan September 8, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Still it’s very fascinating what come up in different places!

Jonathan September 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Ben, what I find particularly interesting is that these sites are not ranked for individual letters, but that the search term they rank #1 for is suggested first. In other words (if I get this right, my brain is mashed by information overload right now 🙂 ), Amazon is not ranking #1 for the letter a, but their company name is the first suggestion Google provides.

By the way: Amazon, Ebay and Facebook are on my (German) list too!


Alan Bleiweiss September 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I experimented with doing it not signed in, signed in under my primary account, and under a client’s account. They all came up with the same results. Mine are slightly different than yours. Oddly, when I go to Google in my IE7 browser, Instant doesn’t show up at all.

I – Ikea.com
J – Jetblue.com
k – kohls.com
r – rei.com
u – usps.com
z – zillow.com


Aaron Hill September 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm

My differences:
I too was logged in to my google account.
Jewel and Ikea are likely location influenced for me.


Tanveer SEO September 9, 2010 at 6:59 am

Yes there are lots of different even i am seeing the different results from some alphabet.


Simon Heseltine September 9, 2010 at 8:43 am

B – Bank of America
J – Jetblue
K – kmart
L – Lirr – absolutely geo given that I’m in NYC right now
S – Staples
Z – Z100


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