One of the things that was always unique about Google is that their search site is very basic. Besides the search button there are very few prominently featured buttons, except the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.
In an interview Google's executives have stated that as good as no one uses this button but that they're not thinking about removing it because it's part of their heritage and offers users a reassurance that the search engine doesn't take itself too seriously:
But the company has no plans to evict "I'm Feeling Lucky," which whisks users directly to the top Web page matching their search query, even though this feature faces mounting competition from other Google services that could benefit from display on one of the most precious tracts of Internet real estate.
"If we took it away, there would be mass protests worldwide," said Marissa Mayer, vice president for search products and user experience. "It's part of our heritage. It's part of what users really like about us."
Google's dedication to "I'm Feeling Lucky" underscores the strategic value the company places on the look of its home page and its emotional bond with users, a fundamental asset that trumps even the temptation to promote more services or run advertising there.
As Google moves beyond Web search and becomes more like rivals Yahoo and MSN -- Google already offers more than four dozen product lines -- it faces increasing pressure to make every pixel on its home page count. Yet the button stays because it is considered an essential ingredient on a page that couples calculated quirkiness with stark simplicity in attracting, according to ComScore Media Metrix, about 82.1 million American visitors a month.
In user studies, Google loyalists volunteer that "I'm Feeling Lucky" offers a touch of whimsy and reassurance that the company doesn't take itself too seriously even after growing into a multibillion-dollar behemoth.