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Google’s Nifty World Cup Easter Egg


The 2010 FIFA World Cup doesn’t officially kick off until Friday, June 11th, but it looks like Google is already ramping up for the games. If you search for the phrase ‘World Cup’ on Google, in addition to returning a schedule of upcoming mascots and a notice as to which teams are playing in which groups, the usual “Goooooooooogle” at the bottom of the page is replaced with a more soccer-friendly “Gooooooooooal!”

But ‘World cup’ isn’t the only search that reveals this small Easter egg:

A bit of poking around with it revealed that within similar sets of phrases, some produced World Cup-like results, but others didn’t. ‘Soccer’ and ‘South Africa’ alone didn’t rev up the “Gooooooooooal!”, but searching for ‘soccer south africa’ does. Likewise, searching for ‘world soccer’ and ‘soccer world’ (without quotes) both return the World Cup “Gooooooooooal!”, but ‘soccer cup’ does not, though ‘cup soccer’ does. You’re probably not going to be able to reverse engineer Google’s search algorithm from all of this, but it’s a neat little indicator of what searches Google is and isn’t guessing belong to FIFAnatics versus South African tourists and/or people who care about soccer but somehow do not care about the World Cup.

(h/t Peter Kafka)

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