Trivia

Hard

Google Images Was Inspired By Millions Of People Searching For Photos Of?

Jennifer Lopez's Dress
Matrix-Themed Wallpapers
The O.J. Simpson Trial
LOL Cats
Jennifer Lopez at the 2014 Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
DVSROSS/Flickr

Answer: Jennifer Lopez’s Dress

Google Images, like its parent service Google, has been with us so long it’s hard to imagine a time when you couldn’t just hop over to it and search for everything from new wallpapers for your smartphone to images from current events around the world.

Once upon a time, however, Google was but a fledgling search engine without a robust image search feature. Back then when you searched for an image of something, you’d just get regular text links to web sites that had the image you described much like you’d get results based on search keywords. That all changed when millions of internet users started slamming the service with a query that would best be answered with the image itself and not necessarily by directing the user, via text links, to the hosting website.

What caused such a flurry of searching that Google took note? The dress that singer Jennifer Lopez wore to the February 2000 Grammy Awards. The very revealing green Versace dress led to millions of inquiries as curious people searched for images of Lopez wearing it the day after the awards ceremony. Google engineers noticed the huge volume of searches related to the dress (which was, at that time, the most popular search query they’d had to date) and realized a dedicated image search tool would better serve their customers when it came to such queries. Thus, Google Images was born.

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