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How Microsoft is Killing Gaming with Sinister SEO

How Microsoft is Killing Gaming with Sinister SEO

How Microsoft is Killing Gaming with Sinister SEO

Never heard of SEO? We used to work in it for a living, and let us tell you, it can be a horrible mistress at the best of times. Standing for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, SEO is the practice of optimising various aspects of your website so it appears higher up search results for certain search terms on engines like Google and Bing.

Sounds horrible and corporate? It can be depending on which agency you use and how you do it, but from our experience there is little creativity in what is fast becoming the world’s most prominent advertising medium.

But anyway, that was the past. We took some good marketing lessons from SEO and moved on. We thought it was out of our lives – until Microsoft threatened to invade every house on the planet with its filthiness via Kinect. Don’t understand? Allow us to explain…

First of all, watch the recently-released video below from Microsoft, explaining how to maximise advertising space via Kinect:

At the time of writing, close to 2,500 ‘dislikes’ have been registered on YouTube against 69 ‘likes’. The video is barely a day old. That’s gamers telling Microsoft where they can shove their Kinect/ad hybrid monstrosity up their bottoms. But the video also filled us with a different kind of fear. See, after working in the SEO industry, we can see where Microsoft wants to take this project long-term, and we’re convinced this is nothing more than a ploy to take on the might of Google.

BORING ALERT! Google currently owns the majority of the worldwide search market – just under 90 per cent – and Microsoft want their Bing engine to be Google’s main search opposition. You may not realise it, but there’s an awful lot of money in search. So Microsoft needs to find ways for Bing to be different and attract an entirely new audience.

After seeing the above video, we remembered seeing something Microsoft presented at this year’s E3…

Bing on Kinect. Searching the web with your voice. Finding brand new content at a simple vocal command. While the concept sounds worthy – and different to what Google can currently offer – the quality of games on show were entirely child-centric (Elmo, Disneyland, the dreadful Star Wars thing…). To us, Microsoft is sneakily trying to lure in a younger audience to the world of search through Kinect, grooming them into the Bing way of thinking from age eight upward.

That brings us to the first video. “Hey, like this advert for Coca Cola? You can share it on Twitter wow wooo yeah dude!” Urgh. Those in the SEO know will recognise this as ‘social media advertising’. Social media advertising is another ugly term to describe marketing via Facebook, Twitter and others – basically the above video. Coca Cola has done an advert and want loads of people to post links to it via Twitter and more, to make sure it reaches as wide an audience as possible in the hope of going viral.

How Microsoft is Killing Gaming with Sinister SEO

But the above advert for Coca Cola is boring, bland and run-of-the-mill. It contains little creativity – who would tweet it? Why would it become viral? Who would want to share it via Kinect? Well, that’s what Microsoft and its advertising partners are hoping Joe Public will do in their spare time, to ‘capitalise on the social media phenomenon’. Yuck…

Sadly, social media advertising is just another branch of SEO, where greedy marketers line up in droves to convince clients it’s exactly what their business needs to make it big. So, though gamers can dislike a video on YouTube all they want, the sad reality is that Microsoft and its partners will look to bleed as much advertising and social marketing potential out of Kinect as is physically possible.

Don’t like it? Tough. Microsoft is desperate to catch up to the Google machine and will exploit any and everything in its power to do so. All of a sudden, the device that promised to change the face of gaming suddenly looks more and more like a subliminal advertising tool, sat in everybody’s front room and waiting to exploit gesture commands to the fullest.

Gamers are smarter than that, but Kinect isn’t really for gamers, is it? It’s for the casual crowd who will walk right into the trap, Facebook account and all…

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