Google Blogoscoped

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Google’s Chinese New Year Specials

Tonight is Chinese New Year’s Eve and Google has put up firecracker graphics around their result AdWords. This works in some countries, like China or US, for some related queries (like chinese new year).

Google China – accessible via the super-short URL “” – also put up a special logo showing a calendar page being turned from the year of the pig to the year of the rat. Clicking on the logo will return a search result as shown above which, using a onebox, promotes a Google Rebang site to send free, predefined SMS holiday greetings. This onebox also pops up for some other queries, like 新年 (new year).

Google in the past also used oneboxes to advertise special campaigns of theirs. It’s interesting to note that Google once claimed they don’t use any special tools to promote their sites in search results, and that they’d just use AdWords like everybody else... this case shows again they don’t always live up to their words. for instance does not have the luxury of getting a onebox for their mobile holiday special and has to resort to buying AdWords, as this one shown on USA for the query chinese new year:

On a side-note, a search for chinese new year in returns not just firecracker illustrations to the side, but also a self-censorship disclaimer at the bottom of the page. As far as we can know this is not related to new year celebrations in specific, but this query just happened to hit on a censored domain; e.g. a search for 新年 (new year) returns no self-censorship according to Google’s disclosure.

[Thanks Keri M.!]


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