For years we have been able to track Santa’s progress at NORAD Tracks Santa. Google had somehow partnered with them and we could even watch YouTube videos to find updates about his whereabouts.
Apparently this year NORAD has somehow partnered with Microsoft. I have no idea what that means for those of us who are just curious about where Santa was last spotted. Whether that means video, bandwidth, or something else.
It is not a big deal to me (I am old enough) who actually gets it done. I just hope they know what they are doing and can handle it. Not that they shouldn’t be able to, but there will be a lot of upset little ones out there if they can’t handle the traffic.
Google doesn’t seem to be very happy since learning about Microsoft doing the Santa tracking this year either. For whatever reason they have put together their own tracker – Google Santa Tracker. After checking the site, it would seem that their count down timer is a mess. Funny they wouldn’t fix this or at least have check to see how it looks in other browsers and resolutions because it doesn’t look that appealing on my screen. They are Google after all. I know they probably slapped this together fairly fast, but come on Google I think you can do better.
The NORAD Santa tracker looks very nice and professional as it has for years.
Screen shot from NORAD Tracks Santa:
Screen shot from Google Santa Tracker:
How crazy is that. A Google vs. Microsoft Santa Tracker war! Even crazier are the search results for “Santa Tracker“. After I perform a search, this is what I am presented with on December 22nd, 2012:
(Paid Ad Result – by guess who?)
Where is Santa? – google.com
Official NORAD Santa Tracker
Official NORAD Santa Tracker – NORAD Tracks Santa
Google Santa Tracker
So what we get is Google at the very top (paid ad) followed by two Norad Santa links, and then another for Google Santa Tracker again.
Now I can understand the top paid position. If you got the cash you can buy your way to the top, and we all know Google isn’t short on cash.
What I don’t understand is how they managed to get the 3rd organic position in just a few short days. They say they don’t favor their own products and brands, but that is one heck of an achievement in a very short amount of time.
I kind of wish they wouldn’t have done this. I’ll have to see how it goes for Microsoft with their tracker on Christmas Eve, but I don’t really think Google should be trying to compete with them and the traditional Norad Santa Tracker we have all known for years. From what I understand the people that handle the Norad Santa Tracker is made up of all or mostly volunteers.
I am not saying Microsoft is any better. They don’t like Google, and Google doesn’t like them. That’s fine we get it. They don’t have to like one another, but do we really need a Google vs. Microsoft for everything, and in this case a site specifically for young children?
Let the big guy do his job, and don’t mess it up for all the children of the world that rely on Norad every year for updates.