A single renegade engineer? A handful? Or A team having some fun with the approval of their managers and everything?
Is there an internal policy about easter eggs? If so, what is it?
I would like to give Google the benefit of doubt but since AAPL doesn't even show up at the auto-complete, it clearly looks like a prank by an employee.
Guess I'll stick with Yahoo!
Financial data sites are not a good place to be pranking your users.
That alone makes me seriously doubt that this is an easter egg, if it is google will have easter egg all over its oos.
So technically it should only show Stocks based results not keyword based results.
site:finance.google.com sell "quotes & news"
The top results is what you would get if it was a neutral algo, used by main google service.
The apple redirect is not neutral and is not a result of any algorithm.
edit: I'm not asserting that this is on purpose or not, I'm just saying that that "proof" demonstrates nothing.
Its unbelievable how many people in this thread accuse Google, conspiracy theories and all that. The thread was up-voted enough to be on front page.
Don't believe everything you hear, do some research on it first ?
It could be translated as "huge smart company that knows algorithms better than most have been trying to predict the stick market." Their current recommendation on AAPL is to sell.
EDIT: thanks for the correction, I had written Do No Evil without thinking. Check the second Google result for 'Do No Evil', as you say it's a common enough mistake to make.
EDIT2: as one of the commenters has pointed out below, the owner of duck.com was a previous acquisition, that owned duck.com prior to duck duck go being a competitor to Google. So owning duck.com is fine with me! I thought it was a prank/jibe on Google's part. Thanks for the info.
No, they didn't. What really annoys me about this persistent misquote is that it gets the character of early Google so wrong. "Do no evil" sounds incredibly pompous, self-important and serious.
"Don't be evil" is obviously more playful and hackerish.
Accidental evil is allowed for Google, so long as it's an unintended consequence. That said, their motto is a lot better than most!
I see no evil here, only an unfortunate coincidence.
Around Nov 02, 2010 duck.com's server was compromised and the script kiddie inserted a php string onto a HTML file.
Was he was really expecting it to work?
Hey folks, I'm writing from Google. This isn't deliberate -- our algorithms seem to be keying off of the words "sell" and "sells" in the description of this very popular stock symbol. We're working on how to adjust things so it doesn't happen anymore. Thanks... back to the eggnog.
(I may be mis-remembering the exact search string, but it was something like that. Keep in mind that Bill's philanthropy had not become public at that time.)
For example, search for other often occuring words such as those:
Those searches give a listing of companies having these words in their description.
Searching for "sell" redirects straight to Apple stock even though many other descriptions have this word in them. Several have way higher density of the "sell" word than the Apple description.
The redirect for "buy" search is reasonable as the Best Buy has it in its name. Apple has no sell in its name.
It's fishy to say the least.
This can be proven even further by running a specialized search query to the main google.com page:
If you use this query, which uses the neutral algo, you won't see APPLE anywhere near the top.
It doesn't use "the" neutral algorithm, it uses a neutral algorithm, one that's not based on keywords at all, but PageRank. The finance sites search (presumably) has nothing to do with individual result pages PageRank and therefore it would return completely different results to the main google search algorithm.
Otherwise, why does 'site:finance.google.com facebook "quotes & news"' not return Facebook? Or even 'site:finance.google.com appl "quotes & news"' not return Apple?
show a rather boring list of companies, with no prominence given to Apple.
Unless google normally gets code changes put to production in a couple hours on a weekend night, in which case I take it back and hurrah google!
Emphasis on 'if' and 'falsely'.