Ask Lifehacker: Where Is Google On Gmail?

Dear Lifehacker, This question has been bothering me for years. Why isn't there a link to Google from the Gmail page? When I sign out of Gmail, I frequently need to go and search for something. I know it's not a big deal to get to Google (on my PC, it's the home screen anyway), but Google don't do things without a reason, right? Cheers, PJ

Dear PJ,

It is slightly odd that there isn't a link to Google itself on the Gmail sign-in page. I'd say the reason is this: from the Google perspective, you'll get much better results if you're signed into your Google account (which is also your Gmail account), with search results (and ads) personalised to match your previous search history and browsing habits. From that perspective, encouraging people to sign back in is more important than making it easy to get to the standard Google search screen.

Even on a signed-in Gmail page, the standard search link is under 'Web'. While most people still think of Google as equivalent to "Web search" a lot of the time, Google doesn't like people taking that limited view. That's reflected in its unwillingness to allow people to use the term "Google" as a generic term for "search". (In the long run, that isn't a battle I think Google can win; widespread language usage usually trumps legal action.)

As always, alternative theories from readers would liven up the comments no end.

Cheers Lifehacker


Comments

    Ummmm.... http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/9246/searchfromgmail.png

      Okay, my mistake. I didnt see the sign out bit. But, you could just click the "Web" link in the bar at the top of gmail, then sign out when you get to that page:

      http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/4622/webfromgmail.png

    It is right above the "one bar"... You know, the place where you type URLs into.

    Modern Browsers will search for anything you type into there that isn't a URL.

    I think we're asking the wrong question here:

    Why do you sign out of Gmail???

    isn't it just called the Home button in the browser?

    It is a bit of an interface fail.

    why do you need to link google.com (for web search?). Every modern browsers got direct search option (unlike you use IE6). I dont remember the last time i typed google.com to do the search, always via firefox or chrome search bars.

    Uhhhh... two buttons on the right from the text box is a button labelled 'Search the Web'. That what you were looking for?

      Whoops, same fail as JustSuds.

    Well I love how all the comments here state the obvious, "modern browser" features etc., or offering a solution.

    The writer isn't asking for a solution. They're asking for reasoning.

      Sorry not 'all comments', but most.

    My only thought is that for whatever reason they want to keep gmail as a separate entity even though you still log into it with a google account.

    Its like youtube. Google own youtube, you can log in with google, but there is no link to google when you log out.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now