The Higher Lower Game goes viral

June 29, 2016

Whether you’re looking for celebrity news or researching your next holiday, the chances are that you turn to Google to find an answer.

The Acquisition team at Code always have an eye on the latest Google search trends; understanding what people are searching for is key when it comes to creating content people actually want to see and consequently giving clients a competitive edge. But despite the fact that we carry out keyword research five days a week, the stats we discover are still often a source of surprise, and always a topic of conversation in the office.

From such a conversation, an idea was born: The Higher Lower Game– a simple yet hugely addictive web game based on Google search volumes.

Search and Media Manager Gareth Evans, Front End Developer Tristan Ashley and Digital Designer Charles Burdett launched the game as an MVP (minimal viable product) back in December so that they could continually test, learn and improve as more people played the game. Following a few months of gradual evolution, the game really began taking off in June, and has now been played over 4.8 million times in more than 200 countries.

The game has also become a YouTube sensation at home and abroad, with top vloggers including PewDiePie, JuegerGerman and Squeezie creating videos about the game.

As well as being a fun diversion, The Higher Lower Game offers some sobering insights into what people care about most; it clearly demonstrates that celebrities are searched for more than important world issues such as climate change and the refugee crisis, and this of course raises interesting questions about the attitudes and cultural landscape around us.

And there’s more to come. The team behind the game are planning to add categories, so, for example, you can compare search popularity just for celebrities, or just for video games. The plan beyond that is to introduce leaderboards, and also different data sets.

Excitingly, the Higher Lower Game format could be used to gamify everything from music album sales and national populations to vehicle top speeds and footballers’ salaries, so there are plenty more avenues we can explore in the future.

To play the game, visit

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