Get ready for an incredible trip down memory lane, because the internet’s top search engine just put out a pitch-perfect recreation of a bygone era that just about everyone misses: Today’s throwback Google Doodle shows a guy in 2013 getting usable results from his Google search.
Whoa, this really takes us back!
The Google Doodle team always does a great job commemorating cool people and things from the past, but they’ve truly outdone themselves with today’s Doodle honoring the period of Google’s own institutional history when its powerful search engine could be used to meaningfully discover information on the internet. The interactive Doodle, titled “Celebrating When Google Used To Work,” shows a man seated at his computer in the year 2013, typing various terms into Google’s search bar and being directed to useful, non-predatory web pages legitimately germane to his query. It’s a real blast from the past to see the cartoon Google user click right on the answer he was looking for without first scrolling past reams of sponsored content, repeated results, and SEO-gibberish spam listicles intentionally devoid of any actual information. The Doodle team captured that fleeting moment in time perfectly—we can almost hear Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ playing in the distance!
Every time you click the Doodle, the man makes another Google search, getting usable results about everything from fruit tree espaliering to betta fish care, and all without Google’s algorithm assuming that his ultimate, unstated goal must be to purchase something. Of course, you can’t actually click on any of the results he gets—most of those useful websites have long since been shut down or gutted beyond recognition by private equity—but the Doodle portrays 2013 so vividly that if you try, you can almost see the links’ informative, human-written content in your mind’s eye.
This is one hell of a deep cut from the Google Doodle team!
Perhaps the most nostalgia-inducing part of the Doodle for us is just how confident the man seems that he’ll be able to simply type in the terms he wants to learn about and get good results without first having to manually adjust a bunch of parameters or slap “reddit” on the end of all his searches. He clearly has no idea that before long, even the most successful Google search is going to feel like getting held down and swirlied by a cackling gang of robots and scam artists. Which is exactly how we were in 2013! If you had told us about the unnavigable morass of user-hostile dogshit our internet would become by 2023, we’d have spat out the dry red velvet cupcake we just paid $4 for and laughed in your face.
Boy, we can’t help but miss when Google and the internet as a whole did not completely suck shit to use, but it sure is nice to see a snapshot of those days one more time. Kudos to the Google Doodle team for their great work bringing us a little taste of yesteryear!