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Google announced a couple of fun little nuggets today: You can now play Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe directly in Google’s search results.
The feature is available through the desktop and Google mobile apps — anyone searching for the keywords “solitaire” or “tic-tac-toe” will see the usual search results, but featured prominently alongside them you’ll also now see a “tap to play” option that whisks you off to play the game.
Google is no stranger to hiding so-called “Easter eggs” in its products, including in Search — for example, last year it had a surprise to mark the anniversary of Super Mario. Moreover, Google already lets you play some games within Search, including Pac-Man.
Today’s news comes several months after Google started letting people trial Google Play games directly from Search as a means of promoting a game without forcing someone to download the app. But that was closer to an ad format that developers paid for. Google’s move to let the world access entire games from within Search is a reminder of how much the search giant wants you to remain in its products — without having to click on third-party links. A couple of months back, Google announced it was bringing song lyrics from more than 4,000 music publishers to Search results, adding to the growing list of content that bypasses third parties — this includes word definitions, health information, nutrition data, and translations.
Yes, Google has long transcended its Search roots and become a destination in its own right.
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