Google Launches TheGoogle.com
Or did they? Well, not really, and it sounds a little stupid like theDonald, but a news type site (the Onion) reported yesterday that Google was launching a new site, called TheGoogle.com saying "Google Launches 'The Google' For Older Adults". The article goes on to say how it is a more secure search engine and it has a more dumbed down version of the search, i.e. you can do a search or a url like http.google.com and it will render the correct address. Just take a look at the article information below. Of course, the Onion does say that this is a satire site (or article) so it can be read with a grain of salt, but the site is still real, and it is still bringing in thousands of hits. So if it satire who cares. Well, perhaps those people using the site that doesn't know it is a faux site, or that the article is just a joke. I am sure there are some out there that don't know the history of everything on the internet (me being one for sure), afterall it is Google's Birthday.
The Google will have all the same information currently found on regular Google, but with the added features of not stealing your credit-card numbers or giving your computer all kinds of viruses," said Rick Tillich, The Google project director. "All you have to do to turn the website on is put the little blinking line thing in the cyberspace window at the top of the screen, type 'thegoogle.com,' and press 'return'â€”although it will also recognize http.wwwthegoogle.com, google.aol, and 'THEGOOGLE' typed into a Word document.
Tillich added that he hopes the site will soon replace Yahoo Internet Website.com as the most popular search engine for users over 55.
If you take a closer look at theGoogle.com, it is nothing more than a 100% ad site. Every time you search, every single result is that of an ad. Why would The Onion publish a report to such an obvious hoax? Just take a guess. I don't know, but I could guess. Is it just a joke? Are they the owners of the hoax site? Well a quick WhoIs search shows probably not, but it is NOT Google. I love the disclaimer at the bottom of all their pages.
Disclaimer: The registrant of this domain maintains no relationship with third party advertisers that may appear on this website. Reference to or the appearance of any particular service or trade mark is not controlled by registrant and does not constitute or imply its association, endorsement or recommendation.
I don't recall google ever saying that themselves. There are a few obvious signs this is not something Google owns, and certainly not something they made an announcement for as the article says.
- There is no announcement on Google's actual website, or in their blog
- All the results are ads (Sponsored Results shows at the top of all their results)
- The WhoIs information is NOT who they say they are (this isn't always important but you can still learn from it)
- Look at the code from the site. Just right click and "view source", nothing that is genuine Google
- Look at the results it does return.
- They ask for money! That should be a no brainer right there.
- Links that don't work (see "donation" form below)
Look at the screen shot when you go to "inquire about this domain" and see what results it shows. I filled out the form and offered $5,000, perhaps I should have made it $100,000 but I thought I would make it something realistic. What happens when I click on the link after submitting an inquiry? Nothing. The link doesn't work.
Why would a satire news site report on something like this, well hopefully they just thought it would be a good joke, but it could be more than just a harmless search engine ad site that is probably right now raking in tons of ad click through's and donations from the article publicity, it could be a phishing site or something worse, but I guess the Onion looked into this far before they published an article about the site. At the least, you would think Google would not care for this and do something about it, but perhaps it really don't matter, or perhaps I just don't know what the heck I am talking about (probably the case as well) and everyone thinks sites like this are just fine.
One comment put it like this:
I'm pretty surprised Google hasn't WIPO UDRP'd for the domain.
I do my share of online marketing, I use click through ads (don't get paid anything but that is for a different post), and marketing is a big part of the Internet now, so I understand using advertising, but to what extent?