Getting Random Results (On Purpose)
Surfing random pages can turn up some brilliant finds.
Why would any researcher worth her salt be interested in random pages? While surfing random pages isn’t what one might call a focused search, you’d be surprised at some of the brilliant finds you’d never have come across otherwise. I’ve loved random page generators associated with search engines ever since discovering Random Yahoo! Link (http://random.yahoo.com/bin/ryl) and thought creating such a thing to work with the Google API might prove interesting, useful even.
What this code does is search for a random number between 0 and 99999
(yes, you can search for 0 with Google) in addition to a modifier
pulled from the
@modifiers array. To generate the
random page, you don’t, strictly speaking, need
something from the modifer array. However, it helps make the page
selection even more random.
With the combination of a number between 0 and 99999 and a modifier
@modifiers array, Google will get a list
of search results, and from that list you’ll get a
“random” page. You could go higher
with the numbers if you wanted, but I wasn’t sure
that this hack would consistently find numbers higher than 99999.
(Zip Codes are five digits, so I knew a five-digit search would find
results more often than not.)
#!/usr/local/bin/perl # goorandom.cgi # Creates a random Google query and redirects the browser to # the top/first result. # goorandom.cgi is called as a CGI without any form input ...