More than any other Web company, Google has put together some of the most memorable and sophisticated April Fools pranks, ranging from a toilet Internet service provider to a pagerank system based on pigeons.
Since 2000, Google has published one or more gags each year, according to Wikipedia, except for two years — 2001 and 2003.
For the past two years, Google has taken the tradition to the next level; the company staged 15 of its April Fools hoaxes in 2008 and 17 in 2009.
So what will Google do this year? Sound off in the comments. Until then, check out the pranks Google has pulled in the past.
Google unveils the real way its pages are ranked: 'the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon.'
Google says it gets its pigeons the old fashioned way -- off the street -- and insists that it's not cruel to animals. Like Google's famous employee perks -- meals and snacks of all varieties -- its pigeons get 'delectable seeds and grains and feature the finest in European statuary for roosting.'
Google advertises fictitious job openings on the moon at the Google Copernicus Hosting Environment and Experiment in Search Engineering (G.C.H.E.E.S.E.)
'This unique opportunity is available only to highly-qualified individuals who are willing to relocate for an extended period of time, are in top physical condition and are capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen.'
Google Gulp helps your search engine experience by making you think faster. When will it come out of beta? Google's answer lends some insight into how the company feels about its other products.:
Man, if you pressure us, you just drive us away. We'll commit when we're ready, OK? Besides, what's so great about taking things out of beta? It ruins all the romance, the challenge, the possibilities, the right to explore. Carpe diem, ya know? Maybe we're jaded, but we've seen all these other companies leap headlong into 1.0, thinking their product is exactly what they've been dreaming of all their lives, that everything is perfect and hunky-dory -- and the next thing you know some vanilla copycat release from Redmond is kicking their butt, the Board is holding emergency meetings and the CEO is on CNBC blathering sweatily about 'a new direction' and 'getting back to basics.' No thanks, man. We like our freedom.
To use TiSP, you needed a 'Round-front or elongated toilet providing at least 1.0 gallons per flush.' Why is TiSP in beta? 'When things go wrong with TiSP, they go very, very wrong. Let's leave it at that.'
April Fools 2009 did not come at a happy time.
Google had just laid off hundreds of employees as a cost-cutting measure in the midst of an economic meltdown. So we speculated that perhaps they would take a year off.
We were wrong. Instead, Google set a new record, pulling 17 of its pranks, including an announcement for a 3D version of its Chrome browser, pictured here.
What will they pull this year?
And... think you're smart enough to work at Google and make wacky April Fools gags like these?