Google Chrome Angry Birds Advert

Oh great, now my browser has advertising.

Creating a new tab in Chrome this morning resulted in me seeing this:

Previously I would see something like the below, a useful screen providing one click access to the websites I visit most regularly and the last few tabs I had closed.

It looks to me as if this new “new tab” screen has been rushed out to promote Angry Birds without much thought given to its usability.

This page now has three tabs. The central tab branded “Apps”- set as the default – contains the not particularly well branded Angry Birds advert on the “App” tab. The the “Most visited” tab features now significantly more blurry screenshots of webpages I regularly visit – with access to recently closed tabs now a step further away, hidden behind an expandable menu rather than the previous one-click access. And the third “Bookmarks” tab? Well the Google Gods haven’t even made that yet “Bookmarks coming soon…” it reads.



So now without warning I get adverts in my browser, slower access to recently accessed tabs and an incomplete non-functioning “bookmarks” page. Thanks Google.

“Game Maker” or “GameMaker” – Search Engines

Working in SEO (almost!) and having an obvious interest in GameMaker through my Game Maker Blog I had to address a recent, closed, GMC topic in which a user asked whether the software was officially called Game Maker or GameMaker.

Connor Wilkins succintly explained the reason for the rebranding from Game Maker to GameMaker:

“YoYo Games’s (paraphrased) reasoning: A ‘Game Maker’ is someone who makes games, while ‘GameMaker’ is a tool to create them.”

Another user replied with:

“I think one of the main reasons for the change is because searching for Game Maker gives more general results than searching for GameMaker. It’s better marketing from the customer discovery angle. And, really, does a space make all that much difference as to even warrant a discussion about it?”

Which is a load of tosh.

The (logged out) Google.com results page for “Game Maker” returns 4 YoYoGames.com pages, followed by some non-GM Google news articles, the GM Wikipedia article, Game Maker hosted on a download site, two Game Maker YouTube videos, a “rival” product and finally Game Maker hosted on another download site.
A total of: 4 official Game Maker links, 5 unofficial Game Maker related links, 1 rival product and Google News.
Total Game Maker specific results: 9/10.

The (logged out) Google.com results page for “GameMaker” returns the same 4 YoYoGames.com pages in a slightly different order, the GM Wikipedia article, Game Maker hosted on a download site, a Game Maker video, a Swedish curriculum which has no apparent link to YoYo Games’ Game Maker, a rival product and a historic product with the same name.
A total of: 4 official Game Maker related links, 3 unofficial Game Maker related links, 2 different non-YoYo Games products and an education course with the same name which does not use the software.
Total Game Maker specific results: 7/10.

7 < 9. "Better marketing from the customer discovery angle"? On both queries YoYo Games have the top 4 results. [game maker] also has more than 4 times as many global exact match searches on Google than [gamemaker] The user continues:

“When marketing a product, you want users to find your specific product when searching.”

Yes. Both searches yield the specific product, with the [Game Maker] first page being more specific to YoYo Games’ product than [GameMaker].

“Perhaps Google, yes, but there are other search engines. For example, searching “game maker” on Excite has YYG at the 4th result, dogpile.com has it as the 3rd, it’s 4th at WebCrawler, sixth at MetaCrawler, etc. The reason for all of these drops is because other sites involving “game” and “maker” (some about university courses in game design) show up first. If removing a single space would bring GM to the top of all these engines’ pages, then it’s a good marketing move, and there’s no reason to be against it. It’s just a space, after all.”

Ummm no. Firstly let’s ignore the fact that the combined marketshare of all the mentioned engines is minuscule. The only reason these results don’t appear at the top is because both these search engines do not distinguish their sponsored search results from their organic listings in a clear manner at all. No idea how this is even allowed from either a an advertising provider point of view (both use sponsored Google and Yahoo listings) or the “hiding ads from the consumer” angle.

Take a look at Excite.

Dogpile is even worse.

I now know exactly what that Dog pile is! Dog S***.

WebCrawler and MetaCrawler are the same. YoYoGames.com is the top natural result for [Game Maker]. They just don’t clearly distinguish paid and organic listings. MetaCrawler isn’t as bad as the others at this though.

Excite, Dogpile and MetaCrawler also return YoYoGames as the top result for [GameMaker], the only different being that WebCrawler returns the official Game Maker Community ahead of the GameMaker page at yoyogames.com

Inconsistencies across YoYo Games’ own homepage certainly don’t help. But GameMaker definitely does not yield better results than Game Maker.

Fools of last Week

A lot of stupid things seem to have happened last week. Here are the fools that made them happen.

The media
Gave so much free publicity to a certain incredibly shallow dating site which claimed to have a virus in a PR stunt. No idea why they all lapped up the “story”.

Via The Inquirer

BBC graphics department
For allowing the below to appear on screen as part of an animated sequence. Really? Blow Jobs. No one saw that coming?
BBC Blow Jobs
Via @The_MediaBlog


Clear Channel Adshel
Installed a bus-shelter/advert in front of someone’s driveway.
Bus shelter blocks drivewway
Photos at This Is Gloucestershire don’t clearly show a driveway so maybe not as stupid as it first sounds!

Un-named contractors working for City of York Council
This is a good photo story so you’ve probably already come across it. A fence was installed through the middle of a football goal at a park in York.

Jon Bennell
Four masked men decide to go and break in to someone’s house in the middle of the night.  House occupants, including a “nice, quiet man who works in a local garage“, see them.  Phone the police.  One of the burglars is stabbed.  Burglar buddies carry off stabbed criminal before dumping his body in the road and running off.  They sound like really nice guys.

The Daily Record states that “his dad Garry, 52, admitted he [Jon Bennell] was on bail for another alleged burglary weeks earlier.” Some common sense though, dead burglar’s Dad also said “Things can get out of hand but you’re entitled to protect your property.”

Stephen Kirkbride
Jacket Thief in Court Stolen
Photo: 5.11 Tactical Fleece Lined Jacket by Chazz Layne (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
This guy (not the one in the picture!) turned up to court on a shoplifting charge wearing the jacket he was accused of stealing. The jacket was ripped where he had removed the security tag.
Via The Westmorland Gazette

Super Injunction Fail?

If you are stupid enough 1) to have an affair, 2) whilst being a “celebrity”, 3) with another “celebrity”, 4) get caught and 5) believe that you can spend lots of money on a super-injunction and it will magically all go away, it certainly wouldn’t be the smartest thing in the world to do to give the whole thing away by publicly replying to a tweet asking how the affair went with the response “I think you should be very careful. Writing on here is publishing.”  [Google it]

Just saying.  No idea if it’s true or not as when a super-injunction is taken out it means the press can’t publish a) the story of the affair or b) publish a story stating that the individuals involved had taken out such an injunction. And because the people that the injunction relates to remains secret (apart from “the press” who know all about I presume) I’ve no idea how I am meant to know whose affair not to write about…  the whole thing is just silly.

Scream Pubs ask Students a question, get honest answers

For those of you who don’t know Scream is a brand of pubs marketed at students in the UK owned by major pub group Mitchells & Butlers. There are a couple of Scream pubs in Birmingham where I am at University.

They have a ‘Yellow Card’ promotional scheme where students can purchase a credit card sized discount card for £1 which saves you money on some drinks.

Today Scream Pubs asked their 26,000 Facebook followers “How much d’you reckon you’ve saved with your Yellow Card?”. Over half the responses are currently negative!

Quite the opposite from the Sarah Palin delete negative comments strategy!

It will be interesting to see if they leave these comments on or delete them.