Playing with Fire

I want to play a game to learn the flags of the world at a site that has lots of online games. Google Instant has just launched, so now my search results update with each keystroke.

I type in ‘flag game’ and get the following results:

(click to enlarge)

The organic results aren’t quite what I’m looking for. I want a site that has lots of different online games, at least one of which teaches the flags of the world, and most of the natural results seem to be single-purpose websites.

Also note that there are no ads, which makes it more difficult to find commercial sites that might have lots of educational games. So I decide to refine my search by appending, as Google suggests, ‘online’ or ‘for kids’.

When I hit the spacebar (so that my query now has a space on the end), I get the following results.

(click to enlarge)

Viola. Lots of ads, some of which seem to be what I’m looking for.

This to me seems like a big mistake on Google’s part. Why would they require the user to add a space to the end of some queries (This doesn’t happen for all queries) in order to get sponsored links they are looking for?

Google’s revenue stream is based on showing relevant ads to their users. Fiddling with that seems to be playing with fire.


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