Google's Tokyo Olympics Inspired Doodle

How Google has stepped up their Doodle game for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics

At Gorilla it’s our job to push your site higher in Google’s rankings. We spend hours a day looking at their search results. So, you can hardly blame us when this morning we got a little preoccupied with Google’s brand-new Doodle: The Doodle Champion Island Games.

Google's Tokyo Olympics Doodle
Google’s new Doodle this morning, celebrating the Olympic Games.

For anyone who spent the last twenty years on the Moon under a rock with their fingers in their ears, Google’s ‘Doodles’ are the changes they make to their famous logo as it appears in search. They use it to celebrate and to commemorate famous people and events.

This Doodle is unique, though: it’s a playable mini-Olympic Games, designed by Studio 4°C!, styled like a 16-bit RPG (think the Legend of Zelda or early 00s Pokémon games). You play as Lucky, the Calico Ninja Cat and explore Champion Island. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to defeat seven legendary champions in different Olympic sports: table tennis, skateboarding, archery, rugby, synchronised swimming, climbing and marathon.

Google’s Doodles have paid homage to the Olympics before, so this is the perfect case study on their shift towards user engagement. Their Beijing Doodles were static images—nice enough. But recent examples have been interactive, like those for Father’s Day and Halloween.

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When you find a site through Google, they can tell how long you stayed on the site if you return to search for something else (known as ‘bouncing’). Google seems to prioritise sites that have a low bounce rate. That’s why we help our clients create engaging content that keeps users from clicking away. Even better, interactive content earns links, which helps boost your search ranking too.

Unlike other Doodles, this one will stay up throughout the coming weeks. You can join one of four teams and post your high scores to a global leaderboard—so it really is an international Olympic games all of its own. But even with all that, we can’t do it justice, so watch our lovely Emma playing it below… or head to Google and play it yourself!

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