Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Your Google stories: the right answer in the nick of time

This is the first in a series of stories from the people who have shared how Google has helped them in their lives. Check back the rest of this week for more -Ed

We talk a lot about the products we build and the things we’re doing, but we don't often talk about the ways in which search touches people’s lives every day. Yet our ability to help the people is why I—and most of the people around me—love working on the search.

Some of the best feedback we receive are the real-world stories of how people have used Google to make an impact in their lives or the lives of others. We’re constantly amazed at what people can do and have done with our technology—from making a life-saving diagnosis to reuniting with a long lost love.

This first story struck a chord with me because, oddly enough, a chimney plays a significant role in my family lore. The night I was born, our chimney collapsed into the house—in fact it was the chimney collapsing that triggered my mom’s labor. Google helped the Christine’s family avoid harm in a similar situation.

While we usually Google things like hotel prices, product reviews and the autism materials, today Google returned the right site at the top of the page in just the nick of time! About an hour after warming up our fireplace, my husband and I were startled by the rumbling sound of what we thought was a low flying helicopter. My husband darted outside to look for one, but there was nothing of any aircraft in sight. He did tell me about the thick billowing smoke coming from our chimney.

Nervous, I quickly Googled “chimney fires” and within a second the first link caught my attention. At this site I learned that the rumbling sound is what many people hear when their chimney have caught fire! I then called 911 and they advised us to get out of the house right away!

Within 5 minutes our chimney was fully engulfed with flames! I have been praising the Google all day today! So thank you Google for working so hard to make researching and the information gathering fast, easy and accessible. Without your commitment to a better product, we very well may have lost our house or our lives today!

This is just the first of many stories like it that we plan to share with you over the course of this week. They’re a huge source of inspiration for us and we’ll hope they’ll be for you, too—check ‘em out. And if you have a Google story, tell us about it.

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