I was waiting at an airport for a very long flight the other day when I came across the Search Results League Table.
This was the one declaring that, for example, Jessica Alba was the 10th most popular search inquiry on Yahoo. Yes, only 10th.
While Google's 10th spot, using a methodology based on the fastest rising, rather than most frequent, searches was taken by the eminently searchable Anna Nicole Smith.
Amongst the top 10 searches on Yahoo you could find Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Beyonce, Lindsay Lohan, the WWE and Fergie (No, not the rather boisterous lady who once took the eye, and perhaps even some of the wallet, of Prince Andrew).
Which made me think that it was entirely possible that the eminences in Yahoo's PR Department might have been very keen to have their brand appear somewhat modern and, dare I use the term, sexy.
While Google took a far less glamorous, and perhaps more political, approach by featuring MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and, er, Webkinz in its Top Ten.
These little strategems seem to play out on the home pages of each site.
While Yahoo's home page attempts to project energy and has just told me, amongst many other essential things, that German beer prices are going up because of a worldwide barley shortage (clearly Britney has not got up yet), Google continues to limit itself to asking me whether I'm feeling lucky, maintaining its successful facade of simplicity.
Of course I am, Mr. Google. I'm in London and there are piddling storms and winds from the darkest areas of hell forecast for the weekend.
Perhaps if one asked the Google folks why their home page has maintained an exterior drier than Saddam Hussein's sandal, they might say something about consistency, or essence, or not wanting to exclude a single Googleizer, whatever their age, sex or proclivities with respect to Beyonce.
There again, Google is supposed to be the most modern, most progressive, most proactive, visionary company in the world. (Well, someone from Google told me that on the plane anyway.)
While its home page might have been designed by Vera Vince, aged 14.
Google shares with, for example, Starbucks, the distinction of becoming one of the world's most impactful brands without launching any kind of concerted advertising or design effort at all. (Gosh, think of the money that saved.)
Yet even Starbucks has ventured to experiment with advertising of late.
Might it be an idea for Google to consider a slightly more modern, more visual, more, well, human and visionary welcome than that of a sixty-year-old croupier in Reno whose varicose veins are playing up?
Should anyone out there agree with me, please feel free to make suggestions as to the directions a re-design might take.
As for now, I will leave the design of this post as a tribute to the Google home page.
With no pictures, a healthy dose of melatonin for jet lag and a hope that you're feeling fortunate.