A Googlewhack is a type of contest for finding a Google search query consisting of exactly two words without quotation marks, that returns exactly one hit. A Googlewhack must consist of two actual words found in a dictionary. A Googlewhack is considered legitimate if both of the searched-for words appear in the result page. For example, typing an asterisk (*) into the Google Search Bar turns up no results.

Published googlewhacks are short-lived, since when published to a web site, the new number of hits will become at least two, one to the original hit found, and one to the publishing site.[1]

## History

The term Googlewhack, coined by Gary Stock, first appeared on the web at UnBlinking on January 8, 2002.[2] Subsequently, Stock created The Whack Stack, at googlewhack.com, to allow the verification and collection of user-submitted Googlewhacks.

Googlewhacks were the basis of British comedian Dave Gorman's comedy tour Dave Gorman's GoogleWhack Adventure and book of the same name.[3] In these Gorman tells the true story of how, while attempting to write a novel for his publisher, he became obsessed with Googlewhacks and travelled across the world finding people who had authored them. Although he never wrote his novel, Dave Gorman's GoogleWhack Adventure went on to be a Sunday Times #1 best seller in the UK.

Participants at Googlewhack.com discovered the sporadic "cleaner girl" bug in Google's search algorithm where "results 1-1 of thousands" were returned for two relatively common words[4] such as Anxiousness Scheduler[5] or Italianate Tablesides.[6]

Googlewhack went offline in November 2009 after Google stopped providing definition links. Gary Stock stated on the game's web page soon afterwards that he was pursuing solutions for Googlewhack to remain viable. However, the game has not come back into play, and there is no word of when or if that will happen.

### Score

Some people propose the googlewhack "score", which is the product of the hits of the individual words.[7] Thus a googlewhack score is highest when the individual words produce a large number of hits.

## Variations

In contrast to Googlewhacks, many Googlewhackblatts and Antegooglewhackblatts are nonsense words or uncommon misspellings that are not in dictionaries and probably never will be.

A practical use of specially constructed Googlewhackblatts was proposed by Leslie Lamport (although he did not use the term).[8]

## Research applications

The probabilities of internet search result values for multi-word queries was studied in 2008 with the help of Googlewhacks.[9][10][11] Based on data from 351 Googlewhacks from the whackstack, the Heaps' law ${\displaystyle \beta }$ coefficient for the indexed World Wide Web (about 8 billion pages in 2008) was measured to be ${\displaystyle \beta =0.52}$. This result is in line with previous studies which used under 20,000 pages.[12] The googlewhacks were a key in calibrating the model so that it could be extended automatically to analyse the relatedness of word pairs.

## Example

Megalophilia Fermions