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Fantastic Linkbait: Google doesn’t need to find Chuck Norris for you!

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while – I saw this mentioned on John Battelle’s blog. Type “find Chuck Norris” into Google’s search form, and then hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button, and you’ll get this:

Finding Chuck Norris
(click to enlarge)

The result is a Google search results page with no listings and the message at the top states:

“Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris, he finds you.”

But wait! This result page is actually a hoax, only pretending to be from Google! It’s actually produced by Arran Scholsberg. Arran is a student at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and is a web designer and photographer.

This is a really clever piece of linkbait – a trick to get lots of people to link to your site by making particularly compelling or humorous content that people will inevitably want to send to their friends. As you may be aware, there’s a really funny internet phenomenon called “Chuck Norris facts” wherein people will list out all sorts of preposterous, hyperbolic statements about Norris, mainly emphasizing his macho-ness. There’s a large amount of traffic built around Chuck Norris facts, with loads of people vying for top positioning in search results pages for the keyword phrase, and lots of people emailing each other links and quotes to some of the funniest stuff. It’s been a pretty viral phenomenon.

Arran’s seemless integration into this is a really great bit of subtlety, directly hotwiring Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” searches to go directly to his webpage that pretends to be a judgment made by the Google algorithm or by some humorous programmers at Google.

How many other search marketers out there would love to hotwire Google’s search form for a particular keyword to go directly to the webpage of their choice, making users bypass all other competitor pages in the process?!? Arran has accomplished it. Someone should hire this guy as a linkbait designer.

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