Google have added the wacky “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game into their search engine.
Type in “Bacon number” followed by the name of any given celebrity and you’ll see how closely they are related to the actor. It’s basically the “degrees of separation” game for thespians connected to the Footloose star. For instance, Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks has a Bacon number of 2 (two steps to Bacon, from her role alongside Ryan Gosling in Drive, who was in Crazy Stupid Love with Kevin Bacon).
So, aside from a geeky nod to the Tremors star, what do Google get out of this? Bragging rights, showing off just how powerful their search engine algorithms have now become.
Speaking to Hollywood Reporter, Yossi Matias, the Engineering Director and Head of the Israeli Engrineering Center, says it’s a good chance for Google to show off how well their search engine can read relationships between people.
“If you think about search in the traditional sense, for years it has been to try and match, find pages and sources where you would find the text,” Mattias said.
“It’s interesting that this small-world phenomena when applied to the world of actors actually shows that in most cases, most actors aren’t that far apart from each other. And most of them have a relatively small Bacon number.”