Google Trivia: Boredom Breaker or Google Research Tool?

Today Google announced the launch of Google Trivia, a new online game that allows you to search for answers, while posing the questions in such a way that there is no easily searchable answer.

Players will have to be very creative in how they search for the answer. A little bit of lateral thinking and multiple searches will be required in order to answer the daily question.

Todays Question; Two future presidents signed me. Two didn’t because they were abroad. Despite my importance, modern viewers seem to think I have a glaring spelling error. What is it?

Questions will be available daily, in both the New York Times (with answers published in the following days Times) and at

Like’s Question of the Day, Google Trivia appears on the home page, but only if you’re logged in. Unlike’s product, the question doesn’t click through to an answer and is intentionally more complicated. In fact, step-by-step instructions are provided to find the answer.

A Google a Day.png

The game also features the ability to challenge friends on other social networks and, remarkably, suggests they follow the game on Twitter and Facebook.

Is Google Using Trivia to Learn How Users Search?

This is an interesting move on Google’s part. While it’s a fun distraction, it’s rare that Google do anything without a broader motive, even when it isn’t initially apparent.

Is this an attempt to help people to search more effectively (as they allude to in the official post), or to study how people search in more detail? Perhaps knowing the exact information people are looking for before they start searching, and studying what queries people use to get to the right answer, will provide the learning Google needs to make the next step in search quality?

Alternatively, making searching a game, could be a route for Google to identify potential power users of Google +1.

More to Game Than Just Googling Trivia?

Andrew Girdwood also pointed out that interestingly, a full weeks questions are available in the code of the site, and that Google is also providing a ‘spoiler free’ version of search, allowing people to search for the questions without risking the answer being inadvertently revealed.

He points out that this could be something of a haven for content farms, who may use this to publish upcoming answers and get ranked, before the questions are even asked.

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