Google has a tradition of perpetrating April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Since 2000, Google has published one or more chokes each year (except 2001 and 2003), sometimes around 17 chokes a year.
Many of them were a huge hit and funny!
Googles first April Fools’ Day hoax, the MentalPlex invited users to project a mental image of what they wanted to find whilst staring at an animated image.
Once clicking the image, several humorous error messages were displayed on the results page including –
Error: Insufficient conviction. Please clap hands 3 times, while chanting “I believe” and try again.
Error 005: Searching on this topic is prohibited under international law.
Error CKR8: That information is protected under the National Security Act.
Error 8P: Unclear on whether your search is about money or monkeys. Please try again.
2002: Pigeon Rank
Google reveals the technology behind its PageRank Systems—PigeonRank. The article makes many humorous references and puns based on computer terminology and how Google PageRank really works.
2004: Job offerings on the moon
Google is interviewing candidates for engineering positions at our lunar hosting and research center, opening late in the spring of 2007
2005: A Fictitious drink that makes you think faster
This beverage would optimize one’s use of the Google search engine by increasing the drinker’s intelligence. It was claimed this boost was achieved through real-time analysis of the user’s DNA and carefully tailored adjustments to neurotransmitters in the brain (a patented technology termed Auto-Drink.
2006: Google Romance
“Dating is a search problem. Solve it with Google Romance.” It pretends to offer a “Soulmate Search” to send users on a “Contextual Date”.
2007: Gmail Toilet Internet Service Provider
Google introduced two pranks on April 1, 2007: Google TiSP (toilet Internet service provider) and Gmail Paper, which would allow Gmail users to add emails to a “Paper Archive.” Google TiSP was a fictitious free broadband service supposedly released by Google.
Links: http://www.google.com/tisp/; http://mail.google.com/mail/help/paper/index.html
2008: Send Email at your own time (Gmail Custom Time) and many more
Google played more than 10 tricks in 2008, including a fake “AdSense for Conversations” and Gmail Custom Time that would allow its users to “pre-date” their messages and choose to have the message appear as “read” or “unread”.
Links: Blogger “Google Weblogs (beta)”; Dajare; gDay; Gmail Custom Time; Google Book Search Scratch and Sniff; Google Calendar is Feeling Lucky; Google Talk Goes Green and many more.
2009: Google runs on Microsoft Windows IIS/3.0 and many more
google.com.au reported as if it ran on IIS/3.0 and google.com on Apache/0.8.4 (on Linux). gBall; Google Chrome with 3D; and many more.
2010: Store anything on Google Docs, Evil Bit, and more
Google Books available in Anachrome 3D; Google announced that Google Docs will have the capacity to upload anything, including physical objects like keys, remote controls, etc; Chrome Sounds; Life size Picasa; Wingdings in Adsense and many more.