What’s Google up to 1st of April this year?

March 9th, 2007
Googleapril

Google is the most popular search engine. That’s where it all started. Now it ended up with dozens of web services and huge popularity. Did you noticed Firefox 2.0 doesn’t detect a grammar error when you type ‘Google’, but it does when you type ‘Altavista’? Go thinking.

Anyway, my point is Google has such an influence on everybody that their past April Fool’s day jokes were actually believed by many people. Click on the joke’s title to visit the original page.

Google MentalPlex (2000)
7 years ago, Google announced a new technology that was supposed to read minds to extract the search keywords, instead of being forced to type them in a regular search. You were supposed to remove any hat and glasses (if any) and look straight into a spiral on the screen, picturing your keyword(s). Wow, a mind reading machine! Not this time, kid. When pressing the search button, you were redirected to a page with relevant searches for “April Fools Day”. Busted.


Pigeon Rank (2002)
In 2002, Google tried to explain the secret of their page ranking system, PageRank. The question was how can Google provide the exact results and at the speed that it does. PigeonRank’s success relies primarily on the superior train-ability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation. The common gray pigeon can easily distinguish among items displaying only the minutest differences, an ability that enables it to select relevant web sites from among thousands of similar pages. Yeah right. The description was so technical, many people actually took that for granted.

Jobs on the Moon (2004)
I have to admit that Google acted so real on this one, and explained it so well it actually looked like an alternative at that time. They were supposed to be hiring people to work on the Moon! Applicants should have been at least 18 years of age by April 1, 2007 and should have proof of Earth residency (DOH!). Even if this is as funny as it is, reports show that many people e-mailed their CV’s to lunarjobs@google.com hoping for a selection. Maybe next year, Jack.

Google Gulp (2005)
They were to release a drink called Google Gulp that was supposed to increase the user’s intelligence. It was claimed to be 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). The same year, Gmail launched as well. Since it was invite only, they announced free invitations if you were to return a Google Gulp cap to the nearest grocery store. Today, Gmail appears to be completely true, and regular users still drink Coke.

Google Romance (2006)
Last year, Google was trying to hook us all up. It pretended to offer a soul-mate search feature in order to send users on a contextual date. Of course you had questions on this service. Everyone had. They appeared to be answering questions in this way, so we got the catch.

Now that you have seen the real side of the story, you may wonder what happened in 2001 and 2003, when Google didn’t deliver any April Fools Day joke. It’s simple. Users panic. The thought of Google tossing aside its geekish roots for corporatedom is not a pleasant one. “I shudder to think what could happen next,” said a Google groupie. “Many people have become utterly dependent on the Benevolent Google Search Engine Monopoly. If we can’t trust them anymore, then what are we going to do? Go back to using AOL Search?”

Personally, I’m going to keep my eyes open this year and don’t trust a thing Google will say that day.






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Comments

  1. whatever:

    Google is a real word, it’s not made up like altavista. You call yourself an author?

  2. Bogdan Boghiu:

    How come “google” ain’t a word as well, oh, you smart guy?
    By all means, check before you comment.

  3. Jeff:

    Actually, Google IS a word, and Altavista is not. Check http://www.dictionary.com

  4. Bogdan Boghiu:

    It turns out I failed to make my point. The “number” is googol.
    “Google” is a trademark derived from that word, and a trademark that due its success, it imposed a new word/verb: (to) google.

    I was trying to point out that Google managed to DO THAT, unlike Altavista. I was trying to point out Google has greater influence than other search engines, therefore Google’s actions/statements can be more/easier trusted than others’.

    Go figure.

    Thanks, Jeff, for the heads up.

  5. Michael:

    For the people who moan and believe that their IQ is over Paris Hilton’s one, go open an old dictionary and show me the word google. Even if the author was wrong (he isn’t) couldn’t you say it in a more polite manner eg “i thought it was a real word because I found it in dictionary.com” arrogant grrr
    Nice post Bogdan Boghiu

  6. Bogdan Boghiu:

    I’m glad you understand my point of view, Michael. Thank you.

  7. Liviu:

    Really nice Bogdan! I add this post on my website.

  8. Adam:

    Interestingly enough, the Google HQ is called the Googleplex, which is derived from the number googoplex, 10^10^100, or a 1 with a googol zeroes.

  9. Michael:

    Hello again :)
    I’ve returned to see if you have posted what Google did this year as I didn’t notice anything so far (maybe because of the time difference we have?)

  10. Bogdan Boghiu:

    Nothing so far, heh.

  11. carbuncle:

    Interesting thread – seems quite emotive – the power of words eh? :-)

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