Posted December 4, 2009 9:04 am by with 6 comments

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One of my favorite uses of Google is as a dictionary.


I don’t need it so much as spell-checker–it fulfills that role too–but if I want to look up the definition of a word, or make sure I’m using it in context, I turn to Google.

Well actually, I turned to–which used to supply the definitions if I clicked on the top right link in the search results:

It’s no coincidence that I used the word “screwed” in the above screen capture. That’s what will likely be, now that Google has decided that those links should go to its own dictionary:

Not that Google’s dictionary is new–you were always able to search “define:” and get to it–but now is out the door. How much will that hurt Answers? Well, the first glimpse of the effects will be seen when the stock market opens today. Answers is publicly traded and I suspect that its stock may not fare so well today.

What do you think of’s chances of continued success now that the Google lifeline has been cut?

UPDATE: Answers CEO Bob Rosenschein tell us that Google wasn’t that big of a chunk of its traffic:

While I’m sorry to see it go, it is not material — under 5% of our traffic.”

Wow! I’m shocked that more people weren’t clicking on that link.

  • There are so many dictionaries available on line that i really don’t think this is a big issue. Even google have to streamline at times and focus on their more important projects

  • We at have appreciated the Google definition link for almost the last 5 years. We already informed our investors at the beginning of November about the expected change. While I’m sorry to see it go, it is not material — under 5% of our traffic. At this point, most of our traffic and revenue come from our user-generated Q&A site, WikiAnswers. Thank you.
    — Bob Rosenschein

    • Wow, really? Less than 5%? Congrats!

      I figured it would account for a lot more than that.

  • I’ve been a voracious user of Google for looking up definitions too..But seriously Andy, I hadn’t noticed the definition link on the top right until you mentioned it here..Maybe the placement is not right..
    .-= Anand Srinivasan´s last blog ..Average Mobile Internet Sessions Per Month =-.

  • Alice B

    I loved the link when I’d search a word on Google and–since it’s departure–I’ve found Google’s dictionary a lot less helpful (though I hope it improves). So I now click directly to I find its thesaurus more helpful. 🙂

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