Search Engines and Remembering Pearl Harbor with Relevance

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Search Engines and Remembering Pearl Harbor with Relevance

A guy in Google forums once asked; “Why is there no Google Doodle in honor of December 7th? (Pearl Harbor)” With Google Doodles for everything from Apple Pie to the Simpsons, how come search engines don’t wave the flag on important days? And no, Google never considered a Pearl Harbor doodle since…

Today is the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. For those of you who learned of Pearl Harbor, and the US entry into WW II in school, surely a sense of patriotism is stirred. On that day the United States 7th fleet, the whole of America, suffered a bludgeoning. Some 2,402 sailors, soldiers, airmen, and civilians were  killed, and another 1,247 were wounded.

Honoring Pearl Harbor on Bing

At the time, all Europe was embroiled in war, Japan had invaded China, the world was literally on the doorstep of becoming a fascist state. The American fleet at Pearl Harbor was the only significant force standing between a mighty Japanese Imperial Navy of unimaginable capability and the mainland of the United State. On that Sunday morning, just before church services, 6 Japanese aircraft carriers launched 353 warplanes at an unsuspecting American base.

The history of this momentous event is well documented, but I found it interesting to take note of how the world of the web perceives these events some 7 decades extent. And in keeping with our search engine fascination here, looking at Pearl Harbor Day 2012 via the various search pages, seems an interesting departure from ordinary web surfing. Looking at all the most popular engines, one clear winner (Bing pictured above) emerges where patriotic symbolism is suggested. Below you will find the engines from Ask to Google and beyond, positioned according to how I feel they show not only relevance  but their patriotic air.

Yahoo! Search

Many search, even non-search experts give Yahoo! (today’s search above) a tough time. If we use today as a gauge for relevance, if not patriotism, I don’t really see how Google or any of the others unseat Yahoo! Search users much. The screen below naturally shows about what Bing reveals, leaving off the wonderful image, of course. I rated them second because of the interesting addition of the Pacific Aviation Museum. Wikipedia, History dot com, blah blah, Yahoo! Search is just not half bad.

Dogpile is not what anybody would call a challenger to Google’s search supremacy  But, the three pooches under the American flag on the landing do a lot for their PR. And, the results are not so bad either. Today will probably go down in infamy for Google, losing out to Dogpile in search because a doodler fell asleep.

Dogpile Patriotism

Somehow Google failing to remember the brave who died 71 years ago – well, it’s just plain wrong in my book. Sure the demographic the search giant adores is too young to remember, but like I said, every kid in the United States gets December 7 in a history lesson or two. The big problem is, Google’s results are pretty dog gone useful, once you get past the news bits. Google comes in fourth by virtue of an almost unforgivable breach of netiquette. Google once recognized Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, Muppets, Dracula, and a host of other “chosen” subjects, but no Pearl Harbor heroes?

Evidently patriotism is not cool for Google doodlers?

Google does not remember Pearl Harbor

Blekko is a very nice search experience. I almost put it above Google by virtue of the results being so clean. But then, Remembering Pearl Harbor wise, they did not much better than most. The images at the top do look nice and provoke clicking. Anyhow, Blekko could have beat Google with a picture or a doodle of their own.

Blekko the SPAM free search engine

AOL, enhanced by Google, or so they say, just has to show the Huffington Post at the top of the results (below). But, once you get past the offers and etc. the search mechanism further empowered by Google somehow suffices. In memory of those who died at Pearl Harbor though, not. AOL forgot.

AOL search

Goodsearch gets an honorable mention here for having a pretty landing. And you know what, given they donate money to good causes every time I search, it would not take much to get me to switch here. Relevance wise, the query results are as good as nearly any today.

Info.com is a meta search business that does not do a half bad job of compiling pertinent results from Google, Bing,  Yahoo! and Yandex. That said, their engine is about as ugly as it gets. Today, December 7th? They could care less evidently.

Infospace, used by all of 25 people (okay a few more) pretty much sucks winds where relevance for anything associated with Pearl Harbor Day goes. Now if you want a hotel room or some Pearl Jam tickets, this might be your engine of choice. Of course Infospace is all about “partners” and showing their results.

Infospace could care less about Pearl Harbor

Lycos is a dog that just won’t hunt”, as the old saying goes. Why? Look at all the opportunity the engine has on the landing page to show Pearl Harbor in images. Not even the news segment shows the Arizona Memorial. Once you type and search, the results are pretty good though.

Excite? As bad or worse than Infospace, not worth screen shot.
Ask – Don’t ask.

Search dot com – ugh.

MyWebSearch is definitely not my web search mechanism.

I am from Romania. Even in my country on the Black Sea, we learn of Pearl Harbor and look back to remember not only our own fallen heroes of past wars, but those of other countries. It seems so strange that only Bing and the guys at Dogpile thought to do a little bit today. Are there other engines doing something to remember? Let us hear from you.

Liliana Steffens
Liliana Dumitru-Steffens is a digital marketing expert and content curator, for Pamil Visions PR. She writes for Everything PR, and is a regular contributor to... Read Full Bio
Liliana Steffens
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