Google's daily puzzle site, where the answers can be found via cunning use of search, has just added a social and competitive element.
Google launched "a Google a day" over a year ago and Google+ will celebrate its first anniversary next month. It has taken until now for them to combine forces and the new version obviously hopes to increase the popularity of both Google properties.
The result is an extended version of the format that takes it from being a pastime where the reward is simply to get the answer right in the shortest possible time, to one where you challenge your friends to a join in and compete, with them or against yourself, to get an impressive score. So whereas before fans of the game might spend 10 minutes a day tracking down an answer now the Daily Goal is to solve five such puzzles and if you are a devotee there are ten on offer, including the Bonus Question - and so that's easily an hour of your day gone!
The social element means that it won't just be your time that's involved. You can send out three challenges a day to your Google+ friends - and so the game is likely to introduce Google+ and all it has to offer to a new audience.
The original idea, that this game would help people to improve their search skills, is still important and you can consult the Tips and Tricks tab for help with advanced search techniques, and in the new version you'll also find a link to Google's inside search page, a fairly recent resource to help promote search skills. As before the games has its own search environment. When you think about it using the full Google Search facility would defeat the whole idea as your would discover the answers too quickly using the popular search feature.
If you a Google+ user you'll find A Google A Day in the Games menu; if you go to the original agoogleaday.com site you have the choice of logging into Google+ to play the new version or going to the "regular game" where you'll find the single-player, single-question-a-day version. Which you may feel has the advantage of asking for only a few minutes and of only your own time per day.
To find out more about it here's is new promo video: