April 24, 2006

Chocolate Poker Chips, the Google Logo, and Search Relevance

A Google Blogoscoped post about Google chocolate poker chips caught my attention. The description says:

We love chocolate, and occasionally we're known to play a game of poker or two. Why not combine the two and offer this fun-but-odd treat, the Google Milk Chocolate Poker Chip. Sold individually.

But that's some very expensive chocolate!
At 75 cents per each "Chocolate Poker Chip", those are priced like Google's stock (it's a complete reverse of "this item not packaged for individual retail sale").

Now, I wondered just how much the logo is costing. I've seen that sort of chocolate novelty before, unbranded. It turns out the very same basic chocolate coin, without the logo, can be had for around 19 cents ($65/345 chips). And probably even cheaper at a discount store.

However, those chips wouldn't have the "Google" logo on them. So you're paying a lot for the designer label. And that's where things get interesting from another angle. I tried to search for how much it would cost to put a corporate logo on a chocolate poker chip (wonders of the Net). However, the resulting Google search was not a pretty sight. All the "poker" spammers reduced the Google search results to a very bad hand indeed. A Yahoo search seemed a little better, but not by much.

Clusty won the results relevance battle royally. There was still a huge load of spam, but searching ["chocolate poker chip"], and selecting the "Milk Chocolate Poker Chip" had a desired result on the first page. Item #8 pointed to an internal page of a company called A La Carte, and flipping through their catalog quickly showed logo prices for decorated poker chips.

So between the base price for the customization, multiple colors on the logo label, and whatever volume deal Google might have, it seems that Google wasn't ripping off people on the price of a chocolate chip.

But again, anyone buying them is paying a lot to have that brand on a piece of chocolate. And it's not even good chocolate.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in google | on April 24, 2006 10:13 AM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage


Well, I would have said Trader Joe's [Belgian] Dark Chocolate, but my wife's with you on Lindt, so... (Maybe I'm just cheap: three 1.75oz. bars of 58%-cocoa solids dark chocolate for $1.29 suits my penurious side, and 58% turns out to be about as intense as I can cope with...)

Seriously: A fine example of what our friends the spammers have done to searching. And to blog discussions, to be sure: The game referred to in your post can't even be mentioned in a comment on my blog, because I've had to block that word...

Posted by: walt at April 24, 2006 12:17 PM

Chocolate one of the 5 food groups of the single male - along with cash, cigarettes, beer and women. If you don't think I can eat cash - give me some of yours. My wife had never had Toblerone or Lindt before she met me.

Remember what is was like before google and altavista? Sure there was some good content on the 'net but finding it could be hard. Archie, gopher and WAIS weren't (aren't?) exactly easy to use. Usenet was fine if you were an academic (never me) with guaranteed access.

Seth, the easier way to find the price may have been to click on the ads for
rather than the search links returned.
http://www.????????.com/ - from the right hand column. Would I trust them on a big/important order without trying first - no. I am sure there is someone selling any and every thing somewhere outthere. Did you try E-bay for choc poker chips?

Posted by: tqft at April 26, 2006 01:04 AM

Walt: There seems to be a fundamental divide between the Milks and the Darks - chacun à son goût.
And amusingly, originally one could not post comments on that entry at GBlogscoped, because of the anti-spam system (I reported the bug to the guy who runs the site, and he had to take the p-word out of his blacklist to enable comments).

tqft: Good point - I didn't have any problem finding some sites with chocolate poker chips, and sites about corporate logos, but a price for putting the logo on a chip was tough. Though that search has a relevant result on page, clusty still did better.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at April 26, 2006 05:56 PM