Today was a big day for Google. Almost $170 million in solar power and a new Google-based trivia game all in 24 hours. Google announced today that they'll be implementing a new trivia game that encourages rather than prohibits the Googling of answers. It seems relatively redundant to have questions for which a player can just type a few words into a search engine, but Google is specifically crafting cryptic and difficult questions that will teach Google users how to better use their search engine. What about when people just post the answers online? Google has even refined their algorithm to exclude those types of sites from the results so as to not spoil the game for the rest of us.
You can start playing now by going to agoogleaday.com and checking out the first question. Questions will be posted daily, and will also be located conveniently above the New York Times Crossword puzzle each day.
This is an insanely clever way to get people to use their site. I would say it's evil (which it is), but I love trivia, especially challenging trivia. Hopefully Google will stick to its promise to keep the trivia challenging, as well as the excluding algorithm for spoilers. Every once in a while (and I am not at all ashamed to admit this) I'll Google or Wikipedia the answer to a particularly difficult NYT crossword clue, and I've come to appreciate the way that Crosswordsmiths have made their clues less and less searchable. The one thing that kills it for me are the crossword content farms and blogs that just post the answers straight-up. It's just as much fun strategically using Google as it is discerning the answer to the clue, so it's nice to know that Google is going to take steps to even the playing field.