555-not-google

In the first Doctor Who episode last Saturday, Rose googled for things like “doctor blue box“. (I get two sponsored links, both related to the show. There’s a spoof page supposedly by the bloke Rose found, created by the BBC, at www.whoisdoctorwho.co.uk, which I expect will be updated as the series progresses. And there’s another one which is just some merchandising shop.)

Anyhow. That’s not the point of this ramble.

The point is that Rose didn’t google, she “search-wised”. And strangely, in a different programme tonight, I saw the same search engine being used again.

It turns out that the site exists: www.search-wise.net.

But it doesn’t really exist. It’s the search engine equivalent of those 555 phone numbers in US TV shows which are guaranteed never to be allocated to anyone, otherwise nutters will be bending your ear day and night. (There’s a UK equivalent area code, but it’s not so memorable. Or at least, I can’t remember it.)

search-wise.net’s front page is just a dummy: see its About Us page. It’s a prop, in other words.

Call me a sad old loon, but I find that quite interesting. In an obvious-when-you-think-about-it way.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “555-not-google

  1. st1

    Okay

    You’re a sad old loon.

  2. Clearance

    They must have to create their own page for the search results. Or perhaps the company that maintains search-wise will do that for a fee. From memory the two search results pages I saw in the two programmes were pretty similar – near-clones of Google results – and they both included a search-wise logo.

    It’s all to do with clearance. Google would have charged, probably – this was cheaper. I’m sure Cliff did have to get clearance. According to my extensive commercial film production experience, getting clearance is the hardest thing. A couple of years ago an episode of a US show, er “The Great Race” or whatever it’s called, passed through Cambridge. Everyone the contestants spoke to on camera had to sign a clearance form before they could be shown on screen. If you don’t sign, they cut you out.

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